SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Crews across the state are dealing with brush and wildfires.
Firefighters say the drought and dry fuels have them concerned for the wildfire season. Monday, there is a plea for Utahns to get their properties ready sooner because of the potential danger.
“Yeah, we are concerned about human-caused wildfires. We defiantly have had a number of them this year already, and it is only the beginning of April,” says Kait Webb with the Utah Division of Forestry.
The Bureau of Land Management tells ABC4 since mid-February there were 13 human-caused wildfires in Northern Utah.
Monday afternoon, Unified Fire Authority put out a brush fire along the Jordan Parkway trail near 7900 S.
In Utah, firefighters say it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure a home is defendable. If it’s not, and during a wildfire, they may pass over your home to save another they can defend.
“It is critical to have it done before wildfire season,” says Webb.
Firefighters say for a good defensible space, start around your home and move outwards.
“It is great to work in small increments from the house out. Whether you start at five feet or go out to 500 feet, obviously it depends on your property,” she adds. “Check for firewood stacks next to your house. Do you have flammable items under your deck? Is it a wood deck? Are your gutters cleared? Little things make a big difference.”
10 specific things you can do include:
- Thin trees and brush
- Dispose of slash and debris from thinning
- Remove dead limbs, leaves and other litter
- Stack firewood away from your home
- Maintain an irrigated greenbelt
- Mow dry grass and weeds
- Prune branches 10 feet above the ground
- Trim branches away from the roof
- Clean roof and guttersReduce the density of the surrounding forest
Most wildfires in 2020 were started by humans.
Firefighters say there three things you can avoid starting one by.
- Put campfires completely out
- Be cautious target shooting
- Don’t drag trailer chains
“Understand when it is a good day for activity, or maybe a day that you should put that activity off for later because it is really hot, it’s really dry, and it is really windy,” says Webb. “So paying attention to conditions and understanding how that impacts people’s normal activities in the summer.”
If you are concerned about your property and the upcoming wildfire season, you can call your local fire department to set up a time for them to come out and give pointers on how to defend your property.