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South Rim Fire largely under control in Tooele County, but fire crews stand ready for wildfire season

Posted at 1:23 PM, Jul 18, 2019

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah -- The South Rim fire here in the hills above Stockton is essentially out, but ground and air crews are still working on hot spots.

And these folks know the next call could come at any time, and, like the Scouts: They always have to be prepared.

Firefighting crews like this one in Tooele now stand at the ready—essentially 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the rest of the summer while monitoring huge tracts of tinder-dry land.

They never know when the next wildfire will break out, where it will occur or how it will happen.

The South Rim Fire was sparked by birds on a power line, and the initial blaze begin moving uncomfortably close to some homes in the area.

But thanks to the rapid response of these firefighters and some help from changing winds that forced the flames uphill, disaster was averted.

But the experts realize every fire presents its own challenges.

"We have been very lucky this year. Every fire we've had, we've had great success getting what we need, getting it there on time; but I have seen in the past where everybody is sucked into one fire, and we get activity in another area and we don't have anybody to send to it," said Daniel Walton, Tooele County Fire Warden.

The South Rim Fire is estimated to have burned 350 acres. No homes were damaged.

Walton said he hopes this is the last wildfire his crews have to respond to this summer, but he’s also been around long enough to realize there will likely be several more over the next few months.