WILDFIRE

SLCFD is preparing now for potential wildfires in the future

May 9, 2024, 6:45 AM | Updated: 8:09 am

Capt. Tom Simons talks potential wildfires...

For the past year, Capt. Tom Simons, with the Salt Lake City Fire Department, and his emergency management team have been mapping neighborhoods along Salt Lake City’s benches, the wildland urban interface areas, for when the next big wildfire comes toward the city. (Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)

(Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY  With recent snow across mountains in Utah, wildfires are not something many residents have to worry about there in May of 2024.

However, Salt Lake City firefighters have been.

“Realistically, we are always thinking about wildfire,” said Capt. Tom Simons with the Salt Lake City Fire Department. “How to prepare for it. How to mitigate the risk. What we can do better to keep people safe.”

For the past year, Simons and his emergency management team have been mapping neighborhoods along Salt Lake City’s benches, the wildland-urban interface areas, for when the next big wildfire comes toward the city.

“We recognize that in a fast-moving wildfire, we needed to have maybe a more efficient process to make sure we can notify the public,” Simons said. “Get them evacuated in case of a wildfire. So, we have built pre-identified evacuation zones along the wildland-urban interface here in Salt Lake City.”

The fire department recently put those zones and neighborhoods into an interactive map on the department’s website.

Finding the Utah wildfire zone you live in in 2024

Anyone living in these zones can input their address and find the name of the zone they are in.

Should the day come of a fast-moving wildfire heading to those areas, the information will be constantly updated.

“You will get a message on your phone that says what the incident is, where it’s affecting, what you need to do, so whether that’s evacuate, shelter in place, or whatever the case may be, you will get one of those messages on your phone and then you will know what your next action should be,” said Hannah Youell, public information officer with the SLCFD.

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SLCFD is preparing now for potential wildfires in the future