Illegal Debris Burning Sparks Wildfire Outside Cedar City

vandernberg fire

CEDAR CITY — Local fire departments and Color Country Interagency Fire crews battled a 102 acre wildfire outside Cedar City, Utah Wednesday and plan to mop up into Thursday.  The Vandenberg Fire, burning on private and state owned lands, began Wednesday July 13, 2011 as the result of some illegal debris burning by a resident. One outbuilding and its contents were destroyed by the fire – a loss estimated at over $100,000.  According to the landowner, he was burning a small pile of debris which escaped his control.

Despite the recent cool and moist conditions experienced across the state the past week, a warm, dry and windy weather pattern has moved into the state and is estimated to continue over the next several days. State of Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands SW Area Fire Management Officer, Mike Melton warns that “the public should not underestimate the current fire danger in southwest Utah, this fire is a clear example of the current danger.”  The fire was aggressively attacked by both ground and air resources from a variety of local agencies.  Given all the wildfire activity across the nation, Melton adds that “we were fortunate to have these resources readily available here in Color Country- had we not, the outcome could have been much worse.”

If you own a home in a fire-prone area, you should take a few simple steps to make your property more defensible. The work you do now may save your home or property from a wildfire this fire season.  It will increase your safety and that of firefighters, too.  Before burning anything on your property check with Utah State Fire Wardens (each county in Utah has a fire warden) or local fire department to obtain a burn permit.  To learn more about preparing your home for the threat of wildfire visit

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