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'Spark Change' in Utah by signing the pledge to prevent wildfires

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News)  -- State officials are getting ready for a big fire season. 

Some fear because of the wet weather the fires may start in the lower elevations of the mountains, like along the foothills.
The state is pushing a new pledge to 'Spark Change.'

"Last year was one of our most expensive fire seasons on record. We don’t want to have a repeat this year in terms of the number of starts," said the Division of Natural Resources Jason Curry. 

Curry says wildfires in 2018 destroyed several Utah homes, evacuated communities, caused air pollution and damaged wildlife habitats.

There were around 1,300 wildfires in Utah last year.

Related: How does the 2018 fire season compare to prior years? Utah firefighters explain.

"So we are looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-700 fires that are preventable," said Curry.

The state's goal is to get that number under a 1,000 by Utahns signing the pledge.

"We are asking the public to take this pledge. It is a fire prevention pledge asking people to basically take an ethic of fire prevention, especially doing certain things and refraining from certain things that we know cause wildfires," Curry added. 

Three things homeowners can do right now is clean out their gutters, as well as create a 30 foot clearing around your home, and move your wood piles.

"Embers will go out ahead of the fire. Land in some receptive fuel bed and ignite spot fires ahead," said Curry. "So if one of your receptive fuel beds is a wood pile next to your house or your deck, that’s a bad thing."

To learn about all of these things all you have to do is sign the pledge at SparkChange.Utah.gov. 
Some people who sign the pledge may even receive a $250 gift card from the state. 

 

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