As summer starts in Northern Utah, remember these 4 wildfire prevention tips

Wednesday , June 14, 2017 - 12:02 PM

JESSICA KOKESH, Standard-Examiner Staff

Wildfire season is well underway in Northern Utah, with two fires in Box Elder County burning more than 500 acres over the weekend. 

Almost 60 percent of wildfires started in the state in 2016 were caused by human activity, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and each year, firefighters combat more than 1,000 wildfires. 

RELATED: Portage, Willard wildfires almost fully contained, burned more than 500 acres

Here are several wildfire prevention tips from the DNR to keep in mind this summer as you work or play outdoors. 

1. Operating equipment

When you mow your lawn, make sure you do so before 10 a.m. and never when it is windy or dry out. Keep exhaust systems, spark arrestors and mowers free of build-up, and always use the recommended grade of fuel. 

If you’re doing work outside, always keep a shovel or fire extinguisher close by. And keep a 10-foot clearance from any vegetation when grinding or welding in wildland areas. 

2. Building campfires 

When you make camp for the night, use an existing fire ring to build a fire and make sure you clear an area of at least 15 feet from the edge of the fire of any grass, leaves and needles. 

Cut your firewood in short lengths, and pile it within the cleared area. Be sure to keep the fire small, and never leave it unattended. Keeping a shovel and bucket of water nearby is also recommended. 

3. Burning debris

Check the weather before you decide to burn anything. The National Weather Service will issue red flag alerts when conditions are prime for wildfires. Do not burn when its too hot, windy or dry. 

Again, keep a water supply and shovel close when you burn, and clear vegetation and any other flammable materials from around the area. 

Do not burn garbage, and check for any fire restrictions or permits in your area before your burn begins. 

Weber County’s open burn season ended May 30, while Davis County will not have an open burn season this year. 

4. Driving

Maintenance is key to preventing your vehicles from throwing sparks while you’re on the road. Worn down breaks, low tire pressure and parts dragging on the ground are all common spark-throwing culprits. 

Don’t drive or park on dry grass, as hot car components can easily start a fire. Drivers should also keep a fire extinguishing in their vehicles. 

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or jkokesh@standard.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or Facebook.com/ByJessKokesh.

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