SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The weather pattern is ramping up fire danger in the state with triple-digit temperatures, gusty winds and dry lightning with the arrival of the monsoon.
While the weather pattern may be working against us when it comes to fire safety, it’s the time for homeowners to step up their efforts.
Defensible space is helpful when it comes to firefighting efforts, but it won’t alone save a house.
The community of Covered Bridge in Spanish Fork Canyon knows the fear ushered in by a wildfire.
“We were really nervous last year, honestly, we thought the house would be gone,” said Jill Taylor, a Spanish Fork homeowner.
“That was pretty scary. That made us rethink some of the stuff we are doing,” said Jane Bingham of the Covered Bridge Community said.
The Pole Creek fire ripped through Spanish Fork Canyon last year charring more than 102,000 acres, and the residents of Covered Bridge were evacuated.
This year, fire crews were called into the neighborhood to assess current fire danger on private properties.
“One of the things I really need to work on is clearing up the leaf litter, getting rid of bark and going down to just dirt and gravel, I didn’t quite realize bark would be such a problem,” said Jill Taylor, a Spanish Fork homeowner.
Believe it or not, the local wind pattern greatly impacts wildfire danger.
“If you have those same embers, pretend if a leaf floating down from a tree, very likely those local wind conditions will land in that ember where that dry leaf litter exists. Where you have a leaf litter problem, you have an ember problem,” Katie Gibble a Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator for the state said.
The more fuels you have near your home the more danger to you and your property.
If your home is in an area where you’re at higher risk for wildfire, you should be prepared to evacuate.
Have supplies ready and a list of supplies you want to take with you if you have to leave with short notice.
Another thing you can do is buying the insurance and making sure you have adequate coverage. This will be the best source of recovery funding for you.
If you would like to have an assessment of your property done, you can contact your local fire department.