Take a few precautions to keep wildfires out of your neighborhood
June 20, 2007
Grab a lawn chair, this might take a while.
Pick a spot far enough away from your home or summer cabin to get a good view of the surrounding trees and bushes and then imagine seeing smoke from a wildfire heading in your direction. You might want to make a few notes.
Has that tree by the living room window started to drape over the roof? Are the branches beginning to reach toward the chimney? Are the rain gutters collecting more leaves than water? Is there a garden hose handy?
The summer fire season was officially ignited in Echo this weekend and many Summit County neighborhoods that border on forested or brush-covered land could be vulnerable as the days get hotter.
Needless to say, once a fire is raging out of control is no time to be wishing that you had called the tree trimmer, tested the fire hydrant or mowed down the weeds behind the garage.
New subdivisions from Empire Canyon to Coalville are encroaching further into the forested parts of the county, and lots that abut the national forest or other untrammeled wilderness areas are prized above all.
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But living on the edge of civilization comes with an extra measure of responsibility. That means creating a defensible buffer around structures and taking other preventative measures to minimize the risk to your family and property in the event of a wildfire.
Every year, government agencies, including Summit County, must set aside a portion of their budget for fighting fires. Judging by the unseasonably dry weather, the increase in visitors to local reservoirs and campgrounds and all of the new construction in the far reaches of the county, it looks like it is going to be an expensive summer.
Homeowners and visitors can help minimize the cost and the potential danger to firefighters by taking preventative measures now.
For more information log on to http://www.utahfireinfo.gov
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