WILDFIRE

Utah lawmakers hear concerns about canyon wildfires, outdated plans

Aug 18, 2022, 10:30 AM | Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 6:53 pm

FILE: An air tanker drops retardant on the Parleys Canyon west of Park City on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2...

FILE: An air tanker drops retardant on the Parleys Canyon west of Park City on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — State officials say the risk of a wildfire destroying homes and cabins in Utah’s canyons and foothills is very real and needs to be addressed. The topic was discussed yesterday on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in a legislative committee.

Two members of the Salt Lake County Council asked lawmakers to take another serious look at the risk of wildfire in what’s called the wildland urban interface. This is an area described by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands as “the zone where structures and other human development meet and intermingle with undeveloped wild land or vegetative fuels.”

Of particular concern to Councilwoman Dea Theodore are dry fire hydrants that firefighters may find in some canyon areas. 

“Great progress has been made,” she said, “but just a few miles up the canyon we have residents who do not enjoy this fairness.

“In fact, their culinary water service is terminated for months out of the year. Their fire hydrants have inadequate water pressure or no water at all.”

Leaders of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands told the committee the code that governs areas at high risk for wildfire hasn’t been updated since 2006 and some of its rules aren’t being enforced.

“The wildland urban interface here in Utah that was adopted back in 2006 is now 15 years old,” said Deputy Director of Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Jason Curry.

Council member Richard Snelgrove told the committee fast-moving wildfires could spread rapidly through areas where there are many homes and cabins.

“It was just last year that the Parley’s Canyon fire spread along I-80, threatening numerous homes in Summit Park and Lambs Canyon,” he said.

“This type of wildfire can quickly cross ridges into Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, etc.”

Committee Chair, Sen. Scott Sandall, told two of the councilmembers that he’d work with them on new legislation to address wildfire risk.

Related reading

 

 

 

We want to hear from you.

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

Wildfire

2024 wildfire season...

Adam Small

Utah sees busy start to 2024 wildfire season, draws comparison to record-breaking year

The 2024 fire season is underway with 261 wildfires reported so far which is similar to the record breaking 2020 season.

18 hours ago

A wildfire burning Neola in Duchesne County broke out on Monday, according to Utah Fire Info. (Bran...

Mark Jones

New wildfire breaks out Monday in Duchesne County

The Big Draw wildfire is burning in Duchesne County. Officials say there are no structures threatened as of Monday evening.

2 days ago

The Little Twist wildfire grew to 1,000 acres on Saturday, June 15, 2024, according to a news relea...

Mark Jones, KSLTV.com

Little Twist wildfire, southeast of Beaver, is now 1,000 acres in size

The Little Twist wildfire grew to 1,000 acres on Saturday, it has being fought by hotshots, local engines and air resources.

4 days ago

A view of the state Capitol and the Salt Lake City skyline....

Andrew Gordon

High temps bring warnings and ozone problems to Utah

Utah's high temperatures have brought on the hottest day of the year so far in the state, along with warnings and ozone issues.

6 days ago

Gov. Cox urged Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously at a Fire Sense press conference Monday, Ju...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah governor, fire officials ask Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously

All our winter snow could spell disaster for Utah's wildfire season. It's why Gov. Cox encouraged Utahns to do their part to prevent wildfires.

9 days ago

Hurricane brush fire (Hurricane Fire & Rescue)...

Diana Jones

Hurricane brush fire quickly put out

Just before 10:00am Saturday morning Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched to a brush fire on I-15. 

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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 person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utah lawmakers hear concerns about canyon wildfires, outdated plans