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Firefighters Urge Caution As Wildfire Conditions Intensify Due To Weather

Sep 3, 2019, 4:58 PM | Updated: 7:31 pm

LAYTON, Utah – Firefighters have urged everyone to be vigilant about anything that could spark a fire following wildfires in Layton, Bountiful and Tooele County.

The Snoqualmie Fire, which was burning above Layton Tuesday, and the Gun Range Fire that burned into a Bountiful neighborhood Friday certainly caught the attention of firefighters across the Wasatch Front. Firefighters hope dangerous fire conditions have caught the public’s attention too.

A campfire caused the Gun Range Fire that destroyed three homes in Bountiful. A cause for the Snoqualmie Fire was still under investigation. However, officials said it was likely human-caused because there was no lightning in the area.

Despite some rain Tuesday, firefighters said these fire conditions are explosive and more dangerous than they were even a couple of weeks ago.

“We have sagebrush here, we have continuous cheatgrass, and then we have stands of oak brush as well,” said Ryan Love with Unified Fire Authority.

Love said those fuels are found in the hills above most of our Wasatch Front communities. He showed KSL how thick the fuels had become above Wasatch Boulevard in Salt Lake County.

“Explosive fuels,” Love said. “These fuels have been preheated, they’ve been dried out from continuous days in the hundreds this last summer.”

Just because summer is ending does not mean the fire season is winding down, Love added.

“In many parts of the western region, here in the U.S., it’s actually gearing up right now,” he said.

Fire conditions are intensifying because of the dry, hot weather. People need to be careful about what they do that might spark a fire.


WILDFIRE COVERAGE:


“It’s on us to be vigilant to protect our homes and maintain awareness of what we’re doing, what we’re dealing with fire,” Love said.

“It’s going to continue to increase in danger with every one of these 90+ degree days,” said Jason Curry with Utah Forestry Fire and State Lands.

Later Tuesday, a wildfire broke out in Tooele County. That blaze, the Green Ravine Fire, had burned over 500 acres by 6 p.m.

Those who live in the urban-wildland interface should re-check their defensible space, he said. Curry added to make sure dead fuels have not built up too close to any homes.

“This is the fourth fire on the front that has threatened homes, we’ve got evacuations once again,” Curry said. “So, we’re really putting our firefighters at risk when we put them up against these homes trying to clear the fuels that really the homeowner, or the residents, should have been clearing in the first place.”

Curry reminded all campers to make sure fires are dead out, and not to start fires in dangerous conditions.

Residents in neighborhoods susceptible to wildland fire should be ready for evacuation, and game plan that possibility.

“Just that mindset of being ready to evacuate, and being all set and ready to go,” Curry said.

Nearly all Utah communities use an automated phone alert system to let people know about evacuations. But, the firefighters said, first responders always go door-to-door for homes that need to be cleared.

That way they absolutely know they have contacted the right homes.

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Firefighters Urge Caution As Wildfire Conditions Intensify Due To Weather