Firefighters worried about cottonseed fire danger

Published 06/12 2014 01:37PM

Updated 06/12 2014 04:15PM

RIVERDALE, Utah (Good 4 Utah) – Firefighters say the Cottonseed from all the cottonwood trees is posing a serious fire danger and the community needs to be careful.

The Cottonseed can be found just about everywhere, from the roadsides to the river bottoms, even in the air.

"It gets up in your face and in your nose and I notice it on the trails, said Karey Hoffman who was biking the Riverdale Weber Parkway Thursday morning.

However, besides causing allergies the harmless looking cotton seed can become a real fire danger. "Yeah we are really worried we got a high fire danger this spring its early in the season and we already had 4 fires caused by this." said Bret Felter, fire captain for Riverdale Fire Department.

Captain Felter says every summer cottonseed becomes a fire threat and it was only Wednesday they put out a four acre fire that threatened several homes and is still burning off Thursday.

He says within the last week and a half all four fires have been man caused and all involved cottonseed.

“We had one caused by a cigarette that he said he put the cigarette on the ground went to step on it before he put his foot on it  and he said it was spread in all directions and he couldn't even get it put out,” said Captain Felter. He goes on to say that Cottonseed lights up it’s very difficult to put out

"It’s kind of like a firecracker fuse on the ground once it lights it spreads in all directions,” said Captain Felter.

Now with dry temperatures and the 4th of July just around the corner Firefighters are urging people to clean up their yards.

"Rake it vacuum it whatever they need to do to mow it up to keep the cottonseed off their yards and then clear up all the brush,” said Captain Felter.

Some residents think more measures should be taken.

"If they can ban the planting of any new cottonwoods they don't need to get rid of the old ones but just maybe no more new ones,” said Jan Prevol, a Riverdale resident.

Fire authorities tell Good 4 Utah If a fire is caused by a individual they can be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire.



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