Careless decisions contribute to high number of wildfires this year

Local News

FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Fire season is still burning hot and the number of wildfires this year in the state are flirting with record high numbers. The number of fires since February hit 865 and of those, investigators deemed 553 human-caused. These numbers coming off of last year are comparably high. Last year, we saw fire numbers close to record lows. Investigators say accidents happen, but they are rare, many of the human caused fire are a result of human error.

“When we come across something like people have been shooting an oxygen tank, or somebody has been cutting out explosives, building their own explosives, driving into the dry grass, those things drive us nuts,” Jason Curry of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said.
 
State agencies that fight fires in our warmer months spend just as much times spreading the message of fire prevention, but it seems some folks aren’t hearing it. On top of careless decisions, the weather pattern lined up for a fairly explosive fire season. Our wet winter, moist spring and dry summer has left fire fuels ripe and ready to burn, meaning erratic fire behavior and easy conditions for flames to spread. Pouring through closed fire investigations and old evidence from the past decade, it’s easy to see people don’t have a problem with extremely flammable materials and very dry terrain.
 
“When we come across something like people have been shooting an oxygen tank, or somebody has been cutting out explosives, building their own explosives, driving into the dry grass, those things drive us nuts,” Jason Curry of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said.
 
From target practice with oxygen tanks to fireworks and debris burning, human caused fires are often a result of human error. Evacuated homeowners are learning this as the flames crept closer and closer to populated areas this summer. Nobody wants flames barreling into the backyard, and finding out some are the result of careless choices leaves people like Mike Kylie on edge.
 
“There’s an element of anger there, and an element of frustration, and an element of worry for my family,” Mike Kylie, a Farmington resident, told ABC4. 
 
Kylie has seen a few fires in neighborhood over the last few years, and he says he worries the numbers won’t go down as more and more people build higher and higher up the Wasatch Front.
 
“Just the way people treat things and the proximity to the open land, it could very well go up,” Mike Kylie said.
 
Fire season is not done yet. We need to see a season ending event, like a period of heavy rain that lasts for days, in order to calm down fire potential this year. There’s a possibility we could see dry conditions push toward October, so people need to do their part and make smart choices while venturing into t he outdoors.
 
” Most of these fires, there may be a few accidents, are a result of poor decision making and negligence,” Jason Curry of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said.
 
For a look at fire conditions and active wildfires in the state, check out https://www.utahfireinfo.gov/.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Videos

Behind The Badge: Life Flight rescue paramedic provides heroic helicopter help from above

Thumbnail for the video titled "Behind The Badge: Life Flight rescue paramedic provides heroic helicopter help from above"

Microplastics in oysters? Blame your yoga pants

Thumbnail for the video titled "Microplastics in oysters? Blame your yoga pants"

'We love you, Alex!' Contestant on 'Jeopardy!' moves Trebek

Thumbnail for the video titled "'We love you, Alex!' Contestant on 'Jeopardy!' moves Trebek"

A military veteran's act of service and struggle

Thumbnail for the video titled "A military veteran's act of service and struggle"

War Dogs: Never Forgotten

Thumbnail for the video titled "War Dogs: Never Forgotten"

The Justice Files: Victim’s family relieved Ron Lafferty passed away

Thumbnail for the video titled "The Justice Files: Victim’s family relieved Ron Lafferty passed away"
More Video News

Don't Miss

Trending Stories