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Whit Johnson ReportingDay after day, fire after fire, a dry spring turns into a hot summer and firefighters are busier than ever. It's not just brushfires, either. The wind and heat is creating extra dangerous conditions for crews battling structure fires.
Firefighters are now asking for the public's help. People are not to blame for every fire, but we can certainly do our part to prevent some of them. When you take a look at these conditions, you can see how easily a fire can start and cause a lot of problems.
From flames on a home to flames in a field...
Salt Lake Fire Department spokesman, Dennis McKone says, "This heat really takes a toll on our firefighters."
It's that time of year that fire danger is extremely high.
Rev. Karl Mitchell was in his church when a house fire next door broke out. He said, "Just a couple of minutes and it was all in flames."
This morning that house fire in Salt Lake City, near the Jordan River, quickly engulfed and destroyed a man's dream home. Maka Vai, the homeowner, said, "I started crying when I walk over here and see the back side. That's all my work. It's all gone, there's nothing I can do."
Smoke could be seen for miles and the flames were intense.
McKone said, "We called for a second alarm immediately to get more resources there so that we can rotate these firefighters out."
As temperatures approach triple digits, a second alarm is standard procedure. Throw in a fire suit, boots, mask, a tank and more and a simple blaze becomes far from routine.
Mike Atwood, with Salt Lake City Fire Department, says, "We carry a cooler with drinks and we try to stay hydrated throughout the day. We take breaks every 15 or 20 minutes on a hot fire like that."
Firefighters say during the summer months, vegetation and structures will burn much easier. They ask people to use caution with campfires, keep barbecues away from walls, safely dispose of cigarettes and legal fireworks, but most importantly, "Just common sense is the best thing I can say for people to use," McKone said.
If you plan on using fireworks this 4th of July, firefighters recommend setting them off on a paved street, away from plants and homes, and keep plenty of water on hand to make sure everything is out.