Taylorsville - Wildland fires are a regular part of Utah summers. Tens of thousands of acres are burned each year throughout the state. While most are far outside of our city, some of our neighbors deal with these threats every year. In 2010 and again in 2012, the southwest part of the valley was largely affected by wildfires that burned on the eastern face of the Oquirrh Mountains, including destroying many homes.
Since Taylorsville rests in the middle of the valley, we don’t often consider ourselves vulnerable to wildland fires. However, many homes within the city neighbor open spaces where grasses, brush and trees grow wild. When lightning, fireworks or other natural or human involvement starts fires in these open areas near homes, they are called urban interface fires. They spread very quickly, damage homes and other buildings and endanger people’s safety.
Some of the places in Taylorsville that are particularly susceptible to urban interface fires include areas near the Jordan River, the various canals, large open fields and freeway embankments. Fires of this type have happened in the city in the past. Even in March of this year, our neighbors in Murray experienced a similar fire near the Taylorsville border that destroyed approximately eight acres of land.
As summer gets started this year and the possibility of urban interface fires occurring increases, take the necessary steps to help your family prepare. Ready. Set. Go!
1. Ready. If your home or property has brush that grows wild, be proactive and remove brush away. Use fire-resistant landscaping. Collect emergency supplies and kits and plan escape routes. Teach these plans to everyone living in your home and share them with your neighbors.
2. Set. Stay up-to-date with information from local media, city government and the fire department. When you learn about a fire that may endanger you and your home, be ready to evacuate by collecting your family and kits.
3. Go! Don’t wait for first responders to come and knock on your door to leave. If you don’t feel safe where you are, go. Follow your evacuation plan and the instructions of public safety officials. This will protect you and your family as well as allow responders to focus on the fire.
For more information about how to prepare your family for urban interface fires or other emergencies, visit www.wildlandfiresg.org/resident
or contact the City’s Emergency Manager, Ben Gustafson, at firstname.lastname@example.org