DAVE & DUJANOVIC

A firefighter talks about the danger of a vehicle fire

Jul 14, 2021, 5:29 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
vehicle fire...
A vehicle crash into a power pole early Monday morning caused a number of small fires and left nearly 8,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers in the dark. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY —  A highway vehicle fire accounts for one in every eight fires in the United States. 

The 2018 Carr wildfire in northern California, which killed seven people and became the eighth biggest in Californian history, started because of a freak accident. A couple’s trailer got a flat tire, the rim scraped the asphalt, sending out sparks that fueled the wildfire. 

From 2014 to 2016, around 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the US, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths, 1,300 injuries and $1.1 billion in property loss, according to FEMA

Assistant Chief Riley Pilgrim of Unified Fire Authority joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss vehicle fires and how the chance of one occurring is exacerbated by the drought now plaguing Utah.

Pilgrim said drivers sometimes are unaware their car, truck or trailer is sparking flames. He cited an example of a driver pulling a trailer. The chain comes loose and is dragging along the asphalt road, igniting small brush fires that eventually grow into one much larger fire, all the time the driver is oblivious to the conflagration that has started.

Vehicle fire breeds fire

Pilgrim said from a firefighter’s perspective, a vehicle fire creates two problems.

“We’ll get up there, and we’ve got to deal with not only a vehicle fire, and a possible medical emergency or injured person, but then the hillside starts on fire,” Pilgrim said.

Pilgrim said if you see a car, truck, or trailer with a flat tire or is sparking, call 911, note the license plate number and direction of travel.

“Maintain a safe distance because that person can be dangerous to you as well. It could be concerning that person doesn’t know their cars has a flat tire and they’re driving for miles. It could be an impairment issue there . . . We want to make sure that we get law enforcement there as quickly as possible since they’re definitely more prepared to deal with that and most of us are,” he said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

In this Saturday, June 29, 2019, photo, Christy Belt, Timpanogos Academy 5th grade teacher, engages...
Curt Gresseth

Preparing and training for school emergencies

A Be Ready Utah expert discusses preparing for school emergencies, the need to have a plan ready and a list of items needed to safely handle disasters when they happen because they do.
4 days ago
File - Experts say parents should consider if Snapchat is right for children and teenagers due to i...
Curt Gresseth

Expert gives advice for parents on teens and new Snapchat controls

Parents need to know the dangers that Snapchat can present to young kids. An expert joins the show to discuss Snapchat's new parental controls and how to have an open conversation with a teen using the app and others like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
5 days ago
french fries are pictured. Inflation is raising lunch prices...
Samantha Herrera

Is inflation hurting your lunch plans?

High costs from inflation may be messing with your lunch. Some restaurants have had to raise prices to deal with high ingredient costs.
6 days ago
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Amie Schaeffer

Inflation Reduction Act would provide nearly $80 billion for IRS

The Inflation Reduction Act would provide almost $80 billion in funding to the IRS, but what would it be used for?
6 days ago
Welcome sign to Moab. A Moab concert series will happen this year....
Allie Litzinger

New ordinance introduced to help in tight housing market in Moab

In an effort to fight a tight Moab housing market, the city has introduced a new ordinance that requires one-third of any new developments be set aside for current employees.
12 days ago
Native American regalia...
Curt Gresseth

U. of U. to offer scholarships to Indigenous students in Utah

The University of Utah announced that scholarships will be offered to members of Utah's eight federally recognized tribes. The university president shares details of the program with Dave & Dujanovic.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A firefighter talks about the danger of a vehicle fire