When a Southern Utah Wildfire Comes Raging!
It's one thing to write about how to prevent a wildfire but quite another when at your front door. Late yesterday afternoon and into the night, a wildfire raged through the town of Veyo, consuming all it it's greedy path.
Our neighbors frantically loaded up their families, cattle, horses, turned their goats loose in an effort to outrun the destruction. Thankfully, due to the concerted firefighter effort, by land and sky, the threat was maintained.
Living through a tornado was nothing compared to the terror I experienced yesterday, not knowing if our home and valued possessions would be turned to ashes. As I drove down the highway to safety, the tears flowed freely.
The wind changed directions at the last moment right across the dirt road from our property. We always maintain a defensible space to avoid loss. Had our neighbors done the same, the outcome may have been different.
During the warmer, drier months of summer, it is crucial to avoid:
- Burning leaves and branches outside
- Welding near tall grasses and weeds
- Campground fires out of designated areas
Pay attention to your surroundings, especially during inclement weather. A seasonal storm can suddenly turn into an out-of-control inferno with a single lightning strike!
Call 911 immediately to avoid any time lost to respond. If you're on the road, drive away from the source of the flames. This is no time to become a curious looky-lou or worse, a statistic because of misjudging the direction of the fire's path!
- Thin overgrown bushes and haul clippings away
- Cut down perennial grasses such as cheat grass and foxtails
- Remove dead branches in trees and those touching the ground
- Take out dead vegetation on the ground
- Create a 30 foot perimeter around your home if possible
While these steps will help prevent your home from burning, it is no guarantee. Call your local fire department for more information on how to create a safer environment. And if you are faced with a life-threatening situation Call 911 Immediately!