Homeowners and firefighters on high alert for brush fires

By Jason Nguyen

Published 06/13 2014 12:11PM

Updated 06/13 2014 02:53PM

DRAPER, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - It's a natural element that feeds fire and not helpful to firefighters.

"Wind is actually, out of all the weather factors and wildfire factors, wind is probably the one that can cause the most problems," said Captain Riley Pilgrim with the Unified Fire Authority.

The wind provides the oxygen a fire needs to burn.

"When they forecast the wind, which are typical winds with the gusts, which is what we really pay attention to, cause those can change fire with a moments notice and it's hard for us to predict that when that happens," said Capt. Pilgrim.

Take yesterday's fire in Draper for example. The wind from the thunderstorm caused multiple spots that were put out to flame back up, making firefighters rethink fire tactics.

"They have an escape route so if that wind does cause a problem then they expect they have the ability to withdraw and go somewhere safe."

But you can help out with these fires before they happen with a clean yard.

"If possible a minimum of 30 feet. Within that 30 feet we want a nice manicured yard and if there are any trees in there we would like those limbed up. Branches are gone to about head high," the captain added.

Doing that will keep the fire on the ground with the greener plant life.

"When that wind blows it helps dry those fuels out and that's what we use to defuse fires," he added.

If a fire does get close to your home, evacuate.

"If you ever feel like you are in harms way, you don't need to wait for someone to tell you to leave," said Capt. Pilgrim.

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