Wildfire is doused in Samak
June 29, 2007
Samak residents praised the work of wildland firefighters on Wednesday who helped douse a blaze that torched four acres in the foothills of the Uinta Mountains. No structures were threatened and nobody was injured battling the fire.
"That’s what we train for and why we work together," Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer said.
Firefighters were on scene until 11 p.m. June 27 after the fire broke out earlier that evening burning mostly grass and oak brush.
"We went back in today and worked it a little more and it’s out," said Boyer in a telephone interview Thursday. "There were no losses."
Boyer was in command as volunteers from the South Summit Fire District fought the blaze.
"It’s a breed of their own The key is proper response and people ready and willing to do their job," South Summit Fire Capt. Tory Llewelyn said about his crew that isn’t paid "a dime." "It’s something that you’re not really born into. It’s something that you learn to take to heart to bring your heart back to the community."
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Accessing the head of the fire on Wednesday was difficult because the blaze burned in steep terrain, Llewelyn said.
"The point of origin on the fire was easy to access, but the head of the fire was in some steep terrain, rough, rocky terrain," he added.
A quick response was key to controlling the fire because erratic winds in the canyon made the blaze unpredictable, Llewelyn said.
The fire reportedly started near the Mirror Lake Highway on lot No. 32 in Samak Acres, which is about four miles east of Main Street in Kamas.
"A gentleman was burning a brush pile and it got away," said Boyer, who added that U.S. Forest Service firefighters helped control the blaze. "It is allowed, but burn permits are required. He didn’t have a burn permit and he had not notified the Summit County dispatch the he was going to do a burn."
Several fire engines and a water tender were used to fight the fire.
A helicopter pilot was released from the scene to cut down suppression costs, for which the man who allegedly started the fire could be held liable, Boyer explained.
"At times it was intense," Llewelyn said. "It can be a challenge creating safety zones and keeping the guys safe."
On Friday, Boyer was still tallying the cost for fighting the fire in Samak.
Meanwhile, Llewelyn insists volunteer firefighters in South Summit train often to fight wildfires.
"You look at the South Summit Fire District and you look at the residential compared to open space, the open space and wildland space outweighs the residential by probably five to one," the fire captain said.
To protect homes from wildfire all combustible material, including vegetation, should be cleared at least 30 feet from the house. Trim tree limbs that touch the house or deck, or are within 10 feet of the chimney.
Keep roofs and gutters clear of leaves and debris and safely store flammable materials, including oily rags.