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Wildfire danger significant

Soon the potential for wildfires will be of more concern than avalanche danger and meetings are scheduled this month in Summit County so citizens can begin to prepare.

"We’ve been actively involving associations in community wildfire plans," Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan said.

Pinebrook residents can learn more about how to protect their property from wildland fire when the Pinebrook Wildfire Council meets April 11 at 6 p.m. The meeting is scheduled at the Gorgoza Mutual Water Company office at 7950 Pinebrook Road.

"We show how you can spot, and take out certain trees," said Jim Craghead, a member of the Pinebrook Wildfire Council. "The word is getting out in Pinebrook and the community is coming together in solving these problems."

Many homes in Summit County are built in the mountains within so-called "wildland urban interface."

Even though 12 neighborhoods have voluntarily enacted fire-suppression measures, "we have other communities that have not done that. They are at fairly high risk," Callahan said.

Clearing brush and decaying trees from around the perimeter of a house can prevent wildfire from attacking the structure, Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer said.

State and county fire officials will instruct residents about how to create fire plans for establishing defensible space around their homes during a meeting April 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wanship Fire Station.

The Summit County Commission Wednesday reviewed a list of roughly 80 communities that face the most significant threat.

"We’ve got a lot of communities that are at pretty significant risk here," Callahan said.

For no charge, Boyer inspects lots and advises homeowners about how to protect their property. Citizens can also reserve time to use a wood chipper by contacting Boyer at (435) 336-3982.

Some residents in Weber Canyon near Oakley support mandatory brush-clearing laws being discussed by county commissioners.

"We’ve got a lot invested up there and we don’t want to see a wildfire," cabin owner Lowell Gill said.

County Commissioner Bob Richer agreed.

"I would like to see mandatory brush clearing," Richer said.


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