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.
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.
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.
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