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It's hot, flat and pure salt. It is what rocket enthusiasts call Hellfire.

For four days, the Utah Rocket Club will set off anything from small model rockets to towering high-powered rockets at the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover.

This is 16th year the club has held the Hellfire event for hobbyists from Utah, Colorado, California, Texas and elsewhere to shoot homemade rockets more than 3 miles into the air.

Brad Overmoe, of Salt Lake City, said he got into the hobby and joined the Utah Rocket Club about 15 years ago for one reason: power.

"I think just the sheer power and fire and smoke going off is what draws me to it — I like it," Overmoe said.

Like many hobbyists, Overmoe said he played around with rockets as a kid. Decades later he learned the rockets could use much larger motors and became reunited with the hobby.

These aren't your average department store rockets. Some of Overmoe's rockets use fuel similar to propellant used in space shuttles — for which he has to have a special certification.

More than 80 members comprise the Utah Rocket Club, which has many events a year, but the Bonneville Salt Flats event is its largest and most exciting.

Weather permitting, launches begin at about 9 a.m. every day through Sunday. It is open to the public.

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