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Firefighters Preparing for Fire Season

Firefighters Preparing for Fire Season

Posted - May 1, 2004 at 4:59 p.m.



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Sandra Yi ReportingYou may remember, last year's fire season was a bad one. This year's could be just as bad, if not worse, because the lingering drought has left plenty of fuel. If a fire broke out, would your home survive?

In an urban interface many homes sit along what could be the path of a fire. Today crews helped prepare one community for the risks.

Darrel Woolley: "We don't allow any outside burning at all up here. We don't even want to take a chance."

Oak and Cedar trees surround Darrel Woolley's home in the High Country Estates. The landscape is plenty of fuel for a wildfire. Woolley knows the risk. He keeps it in the back of his mind.

Darrel Woolley: "Especially with the California deal last year, it really brings it all home, just how real it is."

In fact Woolley has done some work to protect his home.

Darrel Woolley: "This has been trimmed quite a bit, these oaks."

But Woolley found out it may not be enough. Today firefighters from the Lone Peak hot shot crew participated in a training exercise that prepares them to fight a wildfire in an urban interface. This community sits among drought stricken trees, sagebrush and grass.

Scott Bovey: "Fuel hasn't gone away. It's still there."

Crews tagged Woolley's mailbox with a red ribbon. That means, if there were a fire now, his home could not be saved. But crews determined his neighbor's home could survive a fire. They practiced setting up a defensive hose layer around the property, as they would if a fire were approaching. Yellow ribbons marked what could be potential hazards.

Scott Bovey, Superintendent, Lone Peak Hot Shots: “Firefighters train on worse case scenario. That way we’re prepared for anything less than that.”

Woolley hopes to get some advice to spare his home from fires. He plans to replace his wood shingles, but he wonders about his deck.

Darrel Woolley: "It's an all wood deck and I'm a little bit concerned about embers or something. If it got into that deck, it would probably just flash onto the deck and be on the house pretty fast."

Firefighters say all homeowners need fire and evacuation plans. They also need to think about the worse case scenario, identify the fuels around their homes and treat them.

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