North Summit Fire District battles I-80 brushfires
It has already been a busy Fourth of July weekend for the North Summit Fire District. Three minor brushfires have ignited since Thursday along Interstate 80, according to Tyler Rowser, North Summit Fire District public information officer.
On Friday, Rowser said the North Summit Fire District had responded to reports of fires between Wanship and Echo Canyon on three separate occasions. Rowser said the fires engulfed approximately1/10 of an acre each.
Two of the brushfires occurred Thursday afternoon, including one near mile marker 155 along a Utah Department of Transportation construction zone in Wanship.
The third fire occurred Friday at approximately 10:58 a.m. at mile maker 172 in Echo Canyon. It happened less than five miles away from where a small brushfire ignited Tuesday, closing portions of eastbound Interstate 80.
All the fires were under control within 15 minutes and completely extinguished in 30 minutes.
Rowser said the grass is extremely "hot and dry" right now. He explained that cars traveling along the Interstate can give off sparks, leading to highway brushfires.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the 80s for most of the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. However, as of Friday at press time, Summit County had not issued a ban on fireworks for the holiday weekend. Park City recently enacted one.
"We would still advise everyone to be extremely careful," Rowser said. "The grasses are drying out really fast on the hillsides and we’re really starting to pick up with brushfires at this point."
Rowser urged people to "be careful with any fires near the grass," adding that even minor sparks can start a fire.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.