Green River Star -

Our View: Be aware of the fire danger


As is evidenced by the large burned-out spot in Telephone Canyon, fire season has arrived in Sweetwater County.

High temperatures combined with little moisture create a situation where the smallest spark can create a massive blaze. In Sweetwater County, it isn’t unusual for residents to see smoke obscure the clear afternoon sky. It isn’t unusual to see wild land firefighters hurrying along state highways and country roads to take on blazes in some of the most out-of-the-way areas in the county.

In Rock Springs, residents routinely see a portion of White Mountain catch fire during the July 4th weekend.

This is the time of year residents should be careful with fires and other sources of heat that may result in a fire. According to the U.S. Forest Service, approximately 75,000 wildland fires are reported every year, with roughly 90 percent of those fires being caused by people. An unattended campfire on a breezy evening can carry embers into dry grass. Likewise, careless use of fireworks and cigarettes can quickly start an uncontrollable fire.

Even people driving along the county’s many two-track roads can cause a fire if their vehicle doesn’t have a working spark arrestor. It isn’t difficult to start a fire that can ultimately destroy acres of brush and threaten people, buildings and wildlife.

Residents should be aware of the conditions when enjoying a fire. Completely dousing a campfire is the only way to ensure it is put out. Anyone enjoying fireworks should do so in a safe manner, ensuring they’re used in an open area clear of debris and foliage that could catch fire.

People should also be sure to carry fire extinguishers in their vehicles when camping for venturing out, just in case a fire should start.

With more vigilance and care, the number of fires local firefighters respond to can be decreased. We hope Sweetwater County residents take the time to be more careful with their fires, as the potential consequences can be devastating.


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