Utah Wildfires


Gary Griffiths

July 2 picture of Fruitland fire.

Janay Griffiths, staff writer

April Nunley is a 43-year-old Utah resident. She’s lived in Utah most of her life and has always loved the outdoors but doesn’t know a lot about wildfires. She has witnessed a wildfire in Utah; it was traveling over 70 mph destroying everything in its path. Marc Delacruz is a 15-year-old freshman at Cottonwood High School he loves camping and grew up in Idaho and is now a Utah resident. He doesn’t know a lot about wildfires and has never seen an active wildfire. He’s just seen the aftermath. Gary Griffiths is a 45-year-old truck driver in Utah, so he’s seen a lot of Utah, and he’s very knowledgeable about wildfires.

After interviewing these Utah residents, Colt Roundup realized that Utah residents should be more prepared and aware of wildfires. Preparedness is always necessary with life. Utahns should be ready by looking at the conditions they could experience. In Utah, there is a common liking to camping, but little do people know the dangers. According to the National Park Service, in some locations, such as large national parks and forests, some wildfires can be caused by lightning. This is important is because many people aren’t careful in storms, or when they hear thunder they don’t take precautions.

There are lots of causes of wildfires in Utah, and many places people don’t realize or overlook. People are one of the leading causes of wildfires. The national park service states that humans cause as many as 90 percent of wildfires in the United States. Some of these wildfires may be by accident – like digging a hole and accidentally hitting an electric box caused a wildfire. On the other hand, there’s arson, which is starting a fire on purpose. A huge concern with wildfires is that by the time the fire department has responded to a call,  the fire could’ve destroyed an acre or more. 

Wildfires have a lot of effects, but not all of the effects are bad. Wildfires can affect a lot more than just the environment too. Wildfires can  influence the economy in significant ways. The web site North Pennines states that economic costs range from direct costs from firefighting to loss of income from the land following wildfire incidents. This also includes damaged property, not to mention businesses or communities that could be affected by the fire. Despite all the bad things fires can do, wildfires can benefit the environment in some ways. North Pennines states good things such as the provision of food, water and fibre. It also lists regulation of floods, drought, land degradation, disease, soil formation, nutrient cycling, cultural services, recreational benefits, carbon sequestration, and storage.

There are lots of things you need to know that you might be doing wrong like living in a secluded area far away from a fire department, having an inadequate water supply, not being aware of propane tanks and utility service lines,and not having a good evacuation plan. Since most of wildfires are started by humans, especially while camping,  here are some ideas from Mother Nature Network. Keep fires small and have a shovel and a bucket of water nearby, avoid having campfires when its windy or during the hottest parts of the day, and always make sure the fire is put out all the way before leaving it unattended.