Preparations underway for wildfire season

Posted at 1:04 PM, May 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 20:41:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Fire officials expect a busy wildfire season this year and are already making preparations for it.

Last year, the Dump Fire burned 5,507 acres near Eagle Mountain, forcing several hundred people to evacuate from their homes.

The Dump Fire was just one of the hundreds of wildfires that burned over 500,000 acres in Utah during 2012.

As of January 1st, Unified Fire Authority, which serves much of Salt Lake County, expanded its coverage area to include Eagle Mountain.

"All of our firefighters on the department are what we call 'red card certified' or they're trained to fight wildfires and urban interface fires," said Unified Fire Authority Capt. Clint Mecham. "So, we bring that level of training and that level of expertise and equipment to the table, as well as our specialized wildland firefighting teams that we have in place during the fire season."

Fire officials say homeowners can also make preparations for the fire season by clearing brush and other vegetation from the property, leaving at least 30 feet of clearance.

Fire officials also recommend putting together a 72-hour kit with enough food, water and other provisions for the entire family.