More wildfires scorch Summit County | ParkRecord.com

More wildfires scorch Summit County

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The number of wildfires that scorched Summit County increased 25 percent this year.

"The fire season started earlier than normal," Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan said. "None of these fires got to the point where they were of grave concern. We’ve managed to keep them fairly small."

In 2007, Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer said there have been 99 wildfires in the county.

"We had four fires this year that had gone to 200 or 300 acres," Boyer said.

Humans caused most of the blazes, he lamented.

"A gentleman was burning sage brush with 30 mph winds on a red-flag warning day," Boyer said about a fire near Echo.

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In Stagecoach Estates in the Snyderville Basin, kids used fireworks to start a roughly three-acre fire, he alleged.

This year, homes were evacuated but no structures were damaged when 298 acres burned when a bolt of lightning struck near Coalville.

"They had their picture albums and everything packed up and ready to go," Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said.

Meanwhile, a dry winter next year could mean another volatile wildfire season, Callahan warned.