WILDFIRES

Over A Dozen Fires In 2 Weeks Keep Firefighters In Box Elder County Busy

Jul 26, 2018, 8:39 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah – In just the two weeks time, firefighters in Box Elder County have battled about a dozen lightning-caused fires, along with several more caused by people.

County Fire Marshal Corey Barton said the conditions are the worst he’s seen several years.

“Moisture is way down, and temperatures have been way up,” Barton said. “We had sage brush burning in May, which was really early for us this year.”

With resources shared among 14 departments county wide, Barton said the fires are for the most part getting the coverage they need, but crews are keeping very busy. While there’s no control over when lightning will strike, he said that many of the fires out there could have easily been prevented.

“We’re getting a lot of cigarette-started fires along freeways and roadways,” Barton explained. “Cigarette butts are being thrown out the windows. They just don’t understand that they’re very hazardous.”

Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton

Barton also said that fires can easily be started by dragging chains from trailers and sparks from flat tires. While the roughly 6,700 square miles that make up Box Elder County are mostly open land, Barton said a number of fires have come close to homes and structures.

 

“We’re taking every precaution we can in trying to educate the public, but a lot of people aren’t paying attention to that,” Barton said. “On unincorporated or state or federal lands, there are no open fires. There are no fireworks. There’s no shooting with tracer ammunition.”

Barton said there was one fire caused by fireworks in a restricted area on the July 24. He added that causing a fire can be costly.

“Remember, if you start a fire, you’re responsible for it,” Barton said. “You can be billed for the entire cost of fighting that fire, and it can be very expensive.”

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Over A Dozen Fires In 2 Weeks Keep Firefighters In Box Elder County Busy