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Utah fire danger is already on the rise, crews warn

Mar 9, 2021, 1:34 PM | Updated: 5:07 pm

SANDY, Utah — Utah fire danger is already evident as fire crews gear up for the 2021 fire season. Recently, the state saw a run of sunny, dry and windy weather. Adding to the Utah fire danger is a winter season that was drier than normal. All are combining to create perfect conditions for grass or brush fires.

Don’t let the calendar date fool you, said Jason Curry. The spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said March isn’t too early for grass or brush fires.

“It will burn right to the snow,” Curry said. “Just because the snow is on the ground, just because we’re not in the 80s or 90s doesn’t mean we’re not going to have wildfires.”

Crews have already responded to a series of fires throughout the state, including one sparked Monday by exploding targets. Additionally, industrial work caused another fire near 9600 South and 500 West in Sandy.

“They were doing some metal work cutting,” said Sandy City Deputy Fire Chief Ryan McConaghie. “The sparks kicked out of the saw and onto the dry grass.”

Responders were able to contain the flames and protect nearby businesses and houses. 

“'[There was] just some minor scorching on some of the bumpers, luckily, and we were able to move some of the other cars out of the way and get it knocked down before it did too much more damage,” he said.

Utah fire danger evident last season

Utah had the most costly fire season in the state’s history last year, along with a record-breaking year of human-caused blazes.

Heading into a new fire season, Curry said he hopes the public listens to their message: Be safe outside. 

“Last year was a record-breaker for human-caused fires,” Curry said. “We need people to be careful. We’re begging — literally begging and pleading with the public.”

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