Gov. Cox warns of extreme fire danger, stretched firefighting resources in Utah

Jul 11, 2022, 6:57 PM | Updated: 9:03 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox and several firefighting agencies across Utah urged residents to be careful as extreme fire danger grips much of the state.

This July has shaped up to be riskier than most because it’s hot, windy, and dry.

A mega-drought has compounded Utah’s fire danger and people caused 23 fires over the weekend.

Kendall Thomas was especially concerned about the Jacob City Fire that started near his home last week.

“It’s really tragic it happened, but luckily nobody’s homes were lost,” he said.

Thomas is also on the Stockton City Council. He said a faulty generator started the Jacob City fire. “You have to be so wise, so smart when you’re around your surroundings because a match, a cigarette burn” has shown how easily things can get out of hand.

Gov. Spencer Cox asked for heightened awareness and fire safety. (KSL TV) Helicopters were called in to fight the Jacob City fire. (KSL TV) Jacob City resident Kendall Thomas (KSL TV) Tooele County Fire Warden Dan Walton (KSL TV)

“We desperately need every Utahn to act responsibly when it comes to fire prevention,” said Cox.

It’s why he called a news conference Monday with federal, state, and county agencies asking all of us to be vigilant.

“These fires are mostly preventable. As people of Utah, as citizens, we need to be very, very conscious about how we’re recreating, how we’re using fires,” said Joel Ferry the interim director for the Department of Natural Resources.

One of the concerns is how easily a few more large fires could stretch out firefighting resources.

Tooele County Fire Warden Dan Walton said, “We’ve been really lucky to catch fires in the initial attack phase thanks to the hard work of our volunteer firefighters.”

Even though Utah faced drought last year as well, Cox pointed out that we had some rain storms to help calm things down. He said, “So that’s why it’s so critical right now.”

Because one mistake can lead to a huge problem that threatens homes and communities.

Thomas said, “Look what it did. It started this, and we hear it’s going to go over a million dollars, just with this fire.”

More than 180 people were fighting the Jacob City fire Monday.

Three of the largest fires last weekend combined to burn 13,000 acres.

Cox said people who start fires could be held civilly and possibly criminally responsible.

Four men were arrested Sunday in connection to the Halfway Hill fire that deputies said started at their campsite.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


US Forest Service working on thinning the flammable greenery. (US Forest Service)...
Mike Anderson

Utah set to receive millions of dollars of federal funding to combat wildfires

Over a hundred million dollars of federal funding is planned to reduce the wildfire danger across Utah, focusing on specific areas to keep communities safer.
2 months ago
FILE: Crews drop fire retardant on the Jacob City Fire on July 9. (UWCNF)...
Michael Houck

Charges dropped against man who allegedly started Jacob City Fire

Tooele county attorneys have dropped the charges against the man who allegedly started a 4,000-acre wildfire over the summer. 
4 months ago
The Rainbow Fire near Ogden Canyon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. The fire forced evacuations. (Chopper...
Madison Swenson

Human-caused wildfires decrease in Utah for second year

Gov. Spencer Cox is thanking Utahns for using their fire sense after the state recorded a drop in human-caused wildfires for the second year in a row.
4 months ago
helicopter power poles...
Jed Boal

Millcreek Canyon to reopen after 100 power poles removed for wildfire prevention

Millcreek Canyon has been closed to the public for two days as Rocky Mountain Power wraps up a project to reduce wildfire risk.
5 months ago
Several agencies will be working in Parley's Canyon to clear fuel for a potential wildfire that wou...
Tamara Vaifanua

Work to begin on clearing forest fire fuel from Parleys Canyon

Fuel reduction projects will begin this week at Parleys Canyon.
6 months ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabreroLike us on Facebook...
Alex Cabrero

Human-caused wildfires went from 893 to 450 in two years

The last two wildfire seasons in Utah show signs progress of reducing the number of human-caused fires.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Gov. Cox warns of extreme fire danger, stretched firefighting resources in Utah