Firefighters Work Against Heat, Flames In Fires Across Utah

Jun 14, 2021, 12:26 PM | Updated: 2:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Firefighters are taking extra precautions as fires break out across the state during this heat wave.

Hydration alone isn’t enough for anyone working outside in these brutal temperatures — especially if they’re loaded up with a lot of gear.

About 60 firefighters worked through the weekend until Monday to knock down a three-alarm fire at an office building near 1110 East and Ashton Avenue.

“It went on for hours and hours,” said Captain Tony Stowe with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

A grueling task, coupled with rising temps outside and pounds of personal protective gear.

“Anytime we dress into our structural firefighting gear, it’s like putting on a mummy bag, if you will,” said Stowe “You’ve got several layers of thermal protection we put on and it can really contain that heat within the body.”

Stowe said the key is rehabbing firefighters.

“Take also into consideration the amount of work that we’re doing, heavy lifting. It’s very strenuous. Pull the firefighters out, hydrate, put them in shade in a shady situation, remove that PPE, and give them (a) reset, cool-down period,” he said.

This goes for anyone working or spending time outdoors during this heat wave.

“Be aware of how long you’ve been out there, how much hydration you’re having and even though you wanna get the job done take some time to rest,” said Stowe.

Fire crews will be working double time. Stowe pleaded with the public to do its part and know the fireworks restrictions in their neighborhood. With the severe drought conditions, we are at an all-time risk level, so be responsible.

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Firefighters Work Against Heat, Flames In Fires Across Utah