News short: Controlled burn attracts attention, burn information

In this photo from March 2016 offered with this report for illustration only, Santa Clara fire crews attend a controlled burn north of the Laub Pond Dike, Santa Clara, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — An early morning controlled burn Tuesday sent black smoke into the air around Paiute Drive in Washington City and the Virgin River, attracting attention but staying in control and causing no damage.

“It was a BLM project,” Washington City firefighter Kyle Boyer said. “They clear some of that river bottom (the area surrounding the river) stuff and cut out firebreaks so in case a fire gets caught down in there, they have some breaks in there.”

Boyer said Washington City firefighters assisted the Bureau of Land Management about 7:45 a.m. in burning wood that had piled up in the river.

“We piled it up and set it on fire,” Boyer said.

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 tips for controlled burns, fire prevention and fire preparedness:

  • 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, bushes, buildings or other flammable fuels
  • Have means to douse your fire quickly, such as water or an extinguisher
  • 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

Utah State law states that any residential burning requires a permit. However, the law also provides exclusions for the burning of dead or diseased trees, bushes, and plants — as well as prunings from such — and weed growth along irrigation ditch banks without a permit if the area is not zoned residential. The burning must be related to horticultural or agricultural operations.

All other burns must obtain a permit and be subject to the local fire authority.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

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


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  • hiker75 April 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Never enough fires in this county!

  • .... April 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Yep ! nothing like government sponsored arson to add to global warming eh ?

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