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UINTAH, Weber County — Harrisville resident Jerod Call was driving his concrete mixer truck through Weber Canyon in late September when he noticed a disturbance farther down the road.
As he drew closer, Call spotted an overturned semitruck and a downed power line that had sparked a rapidly-growing fire. He quickly pulled over and began dousing the fire with the hose line from his truck’s water tank in an attempt to slow the blaze.
“I was just hoping I wasn’t going to run out of water. I only have so much water (and) … I wasn’t sure how much I had,” Call said.
By the time firefighters arrived, however, Call had nearly quenched the flames.
Just a couple weeks earlier, firefighters had spent 11 hours fighting a wildfire that scorched 619 acres in the same canyon.
“The canyon was just as dry as it was for the Uintah fire that had happened here two weeks before,” assistant Mountain Green fire chief Brian Brendel said in a statement. “With a little bit of wind, the fire would’ve gone right up the hill. It really was a tremendous help for us.”
Thanks to Call’s quick action, the firefighters were able to turn their attention to the truck, which had tipped on a bridge over the Weber River.
“Our big concern was that we didn’t want 200 gallons of diesel fuel down in the river,” Brendel said in a statement.
The Mountain Green Fire Protection District honored Call Wednesday with a citizen commendation award. Though Call, a humble man with little desire for attention, doesn’t understand why he should receive all this praise.
“Here I am putting out a little bit of fire and I’ve got the world looking at me,” he said. “ It just seemed like the right thing to do. Like you say, right place, right time. … I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or what it is, but it happened that way. If I can do something about it, then I’ll do something about it.
Call said he was honored, however, to receive the district’s first citizen commendation award.
“Jerod Call is a great employee,” said John Bramwell, Call’s supervisor at Staker Parson Companies where Call works. “He is a good guy who is helpful all around.