‘It’s not legal, ever’; Authorities say man burning weeds in city limits led to structure fire

CEDAR CITY — A man burning weeds with a propane torch inadvertently caused a structure fire in a Cedar City neighborhood Monday night, authorities said.

Shortly after 8 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a residence near the corner of 400 South and 300 West.

Cedar City Fire Chief Mike Phillips said the man had been using the torch to burn some weeds along a driveway between two houses.

“It appears there was illegal burning of weeds,” Phillips said. “He left, and there must have been a spark somewhere, and it started that fence and outbuilding on fire.”

Shortly thereafter, a neighbor noticed the flames and called 911, Phillips said, adding that the neighbors also began putting water on the fire before firefighters arrived.

“They actually had it knocked down with a garden hose,” Phillips said, adding that two of the three fire engines that were initially summoned to the scene were canceled. 

“We didn’t need them,” he added.

Scene of a structure fire near 400 South and 300 West, Cedar City, Utah, July 29, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The fire damaged a storage shed on the home’s back patio and also melted the siding along the exterior wall of the house.

Phillips said residents should know that weed burning is illegal within city limits at any time of the year.

“It’s not legal, ever,” he said.

While Iron County does allow such burning with some restrictions between March and mid-November, Cedar City’s “no burn” ordinance, found in section 17-17 of the city code, prohibits open burning within city limits.

“This one got away,” Phillips said. “It’s so dry, we’re just one spark away from having a fire.”

This report is based on preliminary statements from emergency responders or law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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