Santa Clara Fire Department quells runaway controlled burn

A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – The Santa Clara Fire Department responded to a controlled fire on Claude Drive that got out of hand due to windy conditions Thursday afternoon.

A controlled burn was being conducted on a lot next to the home at 702 Claude Drive around 3:30 p.m. Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said the property owner conducting the burn had acquired a permit and weather conditions were favorable for burning when he began.

However, due to sudden “erratic and gusty” winds, Nelson said the fire became unmanageable and the fire department was contacted around 3:45 p.m.

Fire crews arrived at the scene to deal with the blaze, part of which had crawled up the hillside by the lot where homes stood. However, due to there being no immediate fuel between the near-top of the hill and the home in the fire’s path, the flames began to spread to either side rather than directly for the home ahead of it.

“This is a good example of defensible space,” Nelson said. “Defensible space” refers to an area around a home – typically one that exists in a place where wilderness and urban habitation intersect – which is kept clear of debris and possible fuels that can feed an oncoming brush fire.

Nelson said this was the second runaway controlled burn the Santa Clara Fire Department has had to respond to within the last week.

The fire was contained in short order and no structures were harmed.

A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
A controlled burn became a runaway burn when winds picked up and blew the fire out of control, Santa Clara, Utah, April 25, 2013 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Omari April 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Come on dumba**es you don’t burn in windy conditions derr derr duh derrr. I’d rather risk a natural fire as they are much rarer, especially here in the city than these idiots starting them!!!

  • Big Don April 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Why in the world are the powers that be still allowing “controlled burns?” Particularly in a non agricultural setting? It has been proven time and time again, to be a costly mistake, because people don’t have the sense that God gave a block of wood.

    • Barbara April 26, 2013 at 1:07 am

      Seriously! Most land in Santa Clara is suburban or developed today. These nuisance fires stinking up and polluting the air needs to be banned. This isn’t cow town anymore out here!

  • Urban Desert April 26, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Can I say to the the “firefighters” go back to school and learn basic common sense rule #1?!

    • Big Don April 26, 2013 at 10:15 am

      I don’t have any idea what you are referring to here, but common sense is not something you pick up in school. You have either been taught to think for yourself, starting from the cradle, or you haven’t. If you haven’t been taught to think for yourself, you aren’t going to gain common sense, no matter how much education you have. I know some highly educated fools.

  • DoubleTap April 26, 2013 at 10:34 am

    And people wonder why outsiders think the way they do about people here in southern Utah. Duh…

  • Tyler April 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Santa Clara Firestarters! Who knew?..I guess it’s job security

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