Crews come together to prepare for wildfire season in Utah

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-22 19:58:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Several fire agencies from across the state came together in City Creek Canyon Thursday morning to talk about the wildfire season that is ahead.

Utah’s wild fire season goes from June to the end of October.

Thursday, representatives from the state, BLM, the Forestry Service, Unified Fire Authority, and Salt Lake City Fire Department got together to talk about what we can expect, and also how to keep the number of fires to a minimum.

“General common sense kinda activities, if you're gonna have a camp fire as the holidays come around and you're gonna have fireworks,” said Tracy Dunford of the Division of Forestry and State Lands.

According to the BLM, the good news is that Utah’s drought peaked in 2012 and some parts of the state have fully recovered. However, despite the wet spring we’ve seen, western and southwest Utah are still experiencing severe drought, making those areas the most at-risk.

'We’re still going to see fire behavior,” BLM Meteorologist Shelby Law said. “We’ll still see some large fires across the state. If I had to pinpoint areas at this point I'd probably be looking to the western to southwest portion of the state where those drought conditions are still fairly severe.”

Salt Lake City Fire Captain Scott Winkler said, as the summer months approach, the focus shifts to wildfires. The Salt Lake City Fire Department just replaced six brush trucks with brand new state of the art models.

“They’re brand new, they have more power, it’s a larger engine than the trucks we've had in the past, as well as an increase compliment of hoses and tools,” Winkler said.

Fire officials are urging Utahns to be extra careful with campfires, target shooting and fireworks this time of year. Human caused fires are 100 percent preventable.