On the Site:


Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment May Have Helped Save Homes in Hill Top Fire

Aug 10, 2018, 6:13 PM | Updated: 8:40 pm

SANPETE COUNTY, UtahThere’s something mesmerizing about watching firefighters putting out fires from a helicopter.

Seeing large buckets of water being dropped onto flames over and over again is an important part of the firefighting process.
However, a lot of the hard work, is also done on the ground.
You have probably seen them; firefighters in their green pants, yellow shirts, and yellow helmets heading up a blackened hillside to dig lines and put out fires.
“They’re very important,” said Marty Duitz while standing next to a fire truck outside the Indianola Fire Department.
Duitz is the current fire administrator and former chief of the Indianola fire department and says it has been a challenge the past few years getting volunteer firefighters.
“It is tough, and the problem we have here, especially in the Indianola Valley, is the kids grow up, they turn 18, they don’t want to stay here and farm,” said Duitz.
Although the Hill Top Fire burning in the Indianola Valley in Sanpete County is being fought by mostly professional fire crews at this point, the fight started with volunteers.
“They were on the fire immediately,” said Duitz.
The lack of volunteer firefighters is an issue fire departments all throughout Utah are facing.
Especially in rural areas.
“At one time, we had 16 certified firefighters. Now we’re down to seven,” said Duitz.
With numbers that low, it can be tough to keep small fires from getting big.
“Those volunteer fire departments throughout the state are a critical piece of our wildland fire response,” said Jason Curry, who is a fire investigator and public information officer with Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands. “We get roughly 1200 wildland fires a year in Utah. 97% to 98% of those fires are kept small. The majority of those are dealt with the 911 system who dispatch those local volunteer firefighters.”
That’s part of why, last summer, Indianola advertised and openly recruited for volunteers.
It worked.
Some of the men and women who signed up are among the volunteers who initially helped fight the Hill Top Fire and save homes.
In fact, Duitz says, this fire has already helped with recruiting future volunteers.
“We usually get something out of these fires. Something good out of these fires,” he said. “We’re hoping by the beginning of next summer, we will have five additional firefighters. That will give us 12 certified.”
Checking for hot spots Checking for fire activity Burned land Indianola Fire Department Firefighters Firefighter Fire crews Marty Duitz Walking through burned areas


KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(KSL TV)...

Mike Anderson

Northern Utah community comes together to help shelter the homeless

Local leaders and volunteers in Cache and Box Elder Counties come together to provide shelter to the homeless as temperatures fall

5 minutes ago

Snowbasin Ski Resort will open Thursday at 9 a.m., even though snowfall has been a bit delayed this...

Shelby Lofton

Snowbasin Ski Resort set to open Thursday

Snowbasin Ski Resort will open Thursday at 9 a.m., even though snowfall has been a bit delayed this winter.

8 minutes ago

A still image frame from the Apple NameDrop tutorial in the "Tips" app found on any iPhone. (Apple ...

Mary Culbertson

Online dispute rises over police warnings after iOS 17.1 software update

Police departments across the U.S. made posts on social media warning of the NameDrop feature that was activated by default with the iOS 17.1 update. Some posts weren't completely accurate.

2 hours ago

Stacy Hanson, a survivor of the mass shooting at Trolley Square on Feb. 12, 2007, died Nov. 5., 202...

Pat Reavy

Utahn paralyzed during Trolley Square mass shooting has died

One of the survivors of the 2007 mass shooting at Trolley Square, who was paralyzed after being shot multiple times, has died.

2 hours ago

St. George runner Shanna Birchett was followed on her run by an unknown car. Security cameras in th...

Eliza Pace

Security cameras catch Utah woman’s ‘terrifying’ experience of being followed on her run

A woman recalls a terrifying experience of being followed on her run by an unknown car and going for help at a stranger’s house. The encounter was caught on some security cameras.

2 hours ago

In the winter, moose can end up anywhere, including your back yard. DWR biologists shot this moose ...

Mark Jones

DWR offers tips on when to report wildlife encounters or sightings

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says there are times when wildlife encounters or sightings should be reported. And there are also times when such occurrences don't need to be told about.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment May Have Helped Save Homes in Hill Top Fire