Chopper 5 shows why firefighters are on high alert for the 4th of July weekend

SALT LAKE CITY – With many dry brush fireworks and possible thunderstorms, much of the Wasatch front is primed with the potential for wildfires.

With a view of Chopper Five, it’s easy to see why firefighters are concerned.

“We’re ready right now with a lot of these yellow weeds that we can see here,” said Salt Lake City Fire Department Capt. Shaun Mumedy.

He joined KSL in Chopper 5 for a bird’s eye view that showed dry fuels all over the Wasatch front.

“It’s all just primed for misusing a single firework to really set it off,” Mumedy said.

He hopes that we will all participate to ensure the safety of this July 4th. The risk is visible along the hillsides and in Emigration Canyon.

“If we have an incident in one of these canyons, it will strain our resources,” he explained.

Part of preventing a huge fire falls on homeowners to build at least 25 feet of defensible space. He pointed out such a house from the air.

Mumedy said, “I mean, you’ve got some big trees around, but you’ve definitely got enough space where if we were to come in and protect this house, we’d definitely have a lot of maneuverability with our pipes around it to house.”

We all need to help protect not only our own homes, but also our neighbours.

Chopper 5 landed on Ensign Peak where there are now so many weeds.

Even though we’ve had thunderstorms recently, a lot of weeds have dried out. It is the same all around the hills and around the houses.

“Because it’s so dry, it becomes an ignition source for really anything, stray fireworks, campfires, anything can really ignite this thing,” Mumedy said.

He said we couldn’t be negligent. This is why no go zones exist throughout Utah and why they must be obeyed.

But beyond the typical Independence Day worries, we also have a chance of thunderstorms.

“So the potential for fires as these storms come through and through these foothills to ignite some of these dry grasses is already extremely high,” Mumedy added.

These are all reasons to be careful of ourselves, our neighbors and the firefighters who will be working to protect us all this weekend.

Mumedy pointed out, “We just don’t have the resources along the Wasatch front here to mitigate many events at once if it decides to happen.”

Comments are closed.