Utah firefighters train and prepare for hot, dry summer

Jun 3, 2022, 7:58 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:42 pm

RICH COUNTY, Utah — There’s a high potential for several wildfires as drought conditions continue to plague Utah, and firefighters from eight different counties are working together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

Most of the year, these departments are battling structure fires. Wildfires are very different, so this training gives them a chance to brush up on those skills and be prepared to coordinate and work together quickly.

Just to the east of Bear Lake, about 100 firefighters were working together to prepare for the coming months on Friday.

“We’re on-call 24/7, ready to go when needed,” said Box Elder County Fire Warden Brad Johnson. “We expect it to be a hot and dry fire season.”

Johnson is helping train groups to be ready for the worst and to stay safe.

As these firefighters explain, with yet another season of drought, things could get worse.

Firefighters train near Bear Lake. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV) Cache County Fire Warden Dallin Bordero. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV) Box Elder County Fire Warden Brad Johnson. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV) Firefighters train near Bear Lake. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV) Firefighters train near Bear Lake. (Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

“This year, I mean the grass is thicker than last year, I think,” said Cache County Fire Warden Dallin Bodrero. “We’re looking at some hotter and rough late summer months.”

But last year, Utahns collectively proved that the conditions do not have to determine how things will go.

“Last year, people did great,” Bordero said.

And if they work together again, the state can avoid those unimaginable things that these guys have to prepare for.

“It’s very important to be careful out there with dragging chains, stuff like that,” Johnson said. “Just fire prevention. I mean just be safe out there.”

“Putting out campfires,” Bordero added. “No exploding targets — just you know, common-sense stuff goes a long way.”

Not only in helping keep these firefighters out of harm’s way, but in protecting our neighbors, homes and property.

Because even a small fire can turn into a big problem.

“We can tie up a lot of resources just taking care of little things like that,” Bordero said.”Things that don’t get big, but it still takes away from our ability to take care of other problems that arise.”

This training runs through Saturday. They typically happen every year, but this is their first time back since the start of the pandemic.

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Utah firefighters train and prepare for hot, dry summer