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.  

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

olympic fashion in 2024, an example of team usa's uniform is shown...

Curt Gresseth

2024 U.S. Olympic fashion: Classic or predictable?

Are the U.S. 2024 Olympic uniforms the height of fashion or predictable, clichéd and boring?

2 days ago

Republican nominee Celeste Maloy wins Utah's 2nd Congressional District....

Adam Small

Rep. Celeste Maloy talks Republican National Convention, primary election recount

Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy said she still doesn't know if she's won the republican nomination for the Utah second congressional district house seat

3 days ago

A yellow air taxi flies across a building in a conceptual rendering....

Mariah Maynes

What’s the future of Utah transportation? One expert says air taxis

Utah is among the fastest-growing states in the U.S. Could air taxis be the answer for getting people around during the Olympics?

9 days ago

Alec Baldwin trial...

Amie Schaeffer

Alec Baldwin involuntary manslaughter trial begins in New Mexico

Alec Baldwin involuntary manslaughter trial begins with jury selection on Tuesday July 9, 2024 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

10 days ago

Peter Salm, a family member of a fatal road rage victim, shakes hands with Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Wood...

Kyle Remund

New road rage law aims to curb future incidents

Initially passed this spring, the law provides for harsher penalties for road rage incidents in an effort to prevent more violence.

10 days ago

someone taps on facebook icon, utah lawmakers working to protect kids from social media...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker talks about his work to shield kids from social media

State Sen. Mike McKell discusses the legislation he has sponsored to undo the harm to Utah children from social media.

28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

A firefighter talks about the danger of a vehicle fire