New website helps Utahns assess wildfire risks for their property

Posted at 9:47 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 23:51:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Wildfire season is going strong in Utah, and a new tool is helping Utahns better understand the risk of a wildfire and how to prepare for one.

With housing developments encroaching more and more on wild lands, there is an increased risk of homes burning in the event of a wildfire.

But the Utah Wildland Risk Assessment Portal is a new tool that aims to arm homeowners with information about fire dangers.

The website combines several different sets of data to calculate the risk of wildfire and help firefighters come up with a better game plan.

"It provides them with that kind of context of what type of risk they may face, at their home, at their hunting cabin, in their community in general,” said Nate Barrons, a catastrophic wildfire reduction strategy coordinator for the Utah Division of Natural Resources.

Anyone can access the site to get up to date data on just what the risk of fire is in or around their home or property.

“An individual homeowner may walk out of their backyard, look into the back forty, see vegetation but not understand what level of risk they may have in an individual location,” Barrons said.

Say for example you have property in the Levan foothills in Juab County. Just type in the location, and you'll get a report with specific conditions for your property.

If the maps show your property is at high risk of a wildfire, U-WRAP will provide some useful information on what to expect and how to prepare for it.

“The type of defensible space they need to create, the type of intensity of a fire if it were to occur in their locality, but that report provides some direction on defensible space and what type of vegetation management to do to protect a structure,” Barrons said.

To visit the Utah DNR’s Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, click here.