New resident learns fire safety lesson after illegal controlled burn

Wildland fire truck at Diamond Valley Fire Station, Diamond Valley, Utah, June 24, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

DIAMOND VALLEY — A resident new to Southern Utah who started a controlled burn clearing weeds and yard debris from his property received a timely lesson in fire danger Friday evening.

At approximately 7 p.m. the St. George Communications Center received a report of an illegal burn in the yard of a residence in the Diamond Valley area.

Diamond Valley Fire Station, 1651 W. Diamond Valley Drive, Diamond Valley, Utah, June 24, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Diamond Valley Fire Station, 1651 W. Diamond Valley Drive, Diamond Valley, Utah, June 24, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Firefighters from the Diamond Valley Fire Department were dispatched to the home and found a man using gasoline as an accelerant to burn brush and yard debris, Diamond Valley Fire Chief Brent Theobald said.

After talking to the man, the chief learned he was a new resident to Southern Utah and was not aware there were fire restrictions in place, he said.

“The man was using proper safety precautions while burning weeds and debris in his yard,” Theobald said. “It was just the wrong time of year to be doing it.”

Theobald explained the burn restrictions to the resident, including approved burn seasons and permit information, of which the resident was unaware.

While temperatures across northern Utah are expected to fall below normal, much of southern Utah will remain warmer than normal. A significant rebound in temperatures is expected for Sunday, June 24, 2016 | Photo courtesy National Weather Service Forecast Office Salt Lake City, St. George News
While temperatures across northern Utah are expected to fall below normal, much of southern Utah will remain warmer than normal. A significant rebound in temperatures is expected for Sunday, June 24, 2016 | Photo courtesy National Weather Service in Salt Lake City; St. George News

The small fire was extinguished within minutes and no injuries were reported, Theobald said.

“The man moved from another state that didn’t have the restrictions that we have here,” Theobald said, “but the state this man moved from also didn’t have the heat and environmental factors that we have here either.”

“Right now we are in a tinderbox, all it needs is an ignition source and we have a fire.”

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said Friday while temperatures in northern Utah will cool somewhat this weekend, much of Southern Utah will remain warmer than normal with a significant rebound in temperatures occurring Sunday.

Color Country Interagency Fire Managers implemented fire restrictions Friday because of the current wildfire activity, dry conditions and high fire danger in southwest Utah and northwest Arizona.

Among the activities prohibited under the current mandate are the following:

  • Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fires of any kind, except campfires built within the facilities provided for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas, or improved places of habitation.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building or developed recreational site or rest area, or outside while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of mineral soil.
  • Discharging any fireworks or any other pyrotechnic materials including explosive targets.

Read more: Fire restrictions in place for Utah, Arizona


This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • ladybugavenger June 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    It always good to learn new things

  • hiker75 June 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Did he at least get a slap on the wrist for his ignorance? Very tolerant of the chief!

  • Knot June 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Using gasoline to light a fire fits into the realm of “Proper safety precautions”?

  • MariaLouise June 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Really?!? The world is on fire around this so and so and he thinks it’s a great time to start his own fire? Brilliant. He is not.

  • Bob June 26, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    well u guys should find him and that drone guy and do a public beheading. will that make y’all happy?

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