WASHINGTON CITY— A planned agricultural burn got slightly out of hand, approximately 500 feet from homes near the intersection of Neilson Ranch Road and 20 East in Washington City. Fire crews from the Washington City Fire Department were called to assist workers who were involved in the “ag burn,” and the fire was fully contained by 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.
The fire was too far away from homes and structures to cause any damage, and the end result was nothing more than a large plume of smoke and some toasted weeds.
In fact, the fire, which had burned about one-half acre of weeds between a field and the Virgin River, was mostly contained by the time the Washington City Fire Department arrived, Fire Chief Brent Hafen said. However, the Fire Department did assist in getting the fire fully contained.
Farmers on agricultural land can burn during the year, Hafen said. “They don’t necessarily have to wait till burn season to burn.”
As spring approaches and vegetation begins to dry out, fire risks increase. Previously published by St. George News in June 2013, Washington County Emergency Services recommends the following fire prevention tips:
- Make sure you can legally burn in your area. Check with local authorities and obtain a permit
- Check the weather before you light a fire. High winds, high temperatures and low humidity radically intensify fire
- Choose a safe burning site away from trees or bushes, buildings or other flammable fuels
- Have means, like water or an extinguisher, to douse your fire quickly
- Stay with your fire. Don’t leave it unattended
- Don’t burn garbage, waste, construction debris, plastic, foam, rubber or other offensive substances
- Don’t throw lighted material, including cigarettes, from vehicles
- Use fireworks with caution, obey fireworks laws and don’t use illegal fireworks
- Always extinguish the fire completely before you leave it
- Never park on, or drive through, dry grass
- Be careful with the use of heat or spark generating tools or ATVs
- If you live in a wildland interface area, be prepared for wildfire
- Provide for defensible space around your home and out buildings
- Have a wildfire action plan for your family
- Have your important documents and disaster kits ready to go in an emergency
- Leave early if a fire threatens your neighborhood
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