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Wildfire Season: How to Prepare

The entire west is at risk of wildfires, and that should be a reminder to all of us to be on alert.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good 4 Utah) - The entire west is at risk of wildfires, and that should be a reminder to all of us to be on alert. In fact, the American Red Cross and the State of Utah already have disaster teams ready to go at a moments notice, but they want folks at home to take action and be prepared as well.

Last Year, the Patch Springs Wildfire in Tooele County was the largest wildfire. The USDA Forest Service says it burned over 31,000 acres and statewide 1,279 wildfires burned totaling over 70,000 acres.

Utah is still suffering from a long term drought but we are in a little bit better situation. We've had a pretty good month of May in terms of precipitation in the overall wildfire danger picture,” said Jason Curry, the spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

Curry says although Utah isn't as dry as California and Arizona, where wildfires are currently taking place, we still aren't out of the wood works. He says that’s why fire crews and the American Red Cross aren't wasting any time getting prepared and want you to do the same.

“You need to have a plan you need to think in advance ….think through what would you do?” said Rich Woodruff the communications director for the American Red Cross.

Woodruff also says people need to have a 72 hours grab and go bag with essentials for you, your family and pet. “Have a flash light, a radio and you might want to have an extra cell phone. If you have prescription medications, a 7 day supply of that and maybe some cash,” said Woodruff.

Curry says already they get fires on a day to day basis and they are quickly put out, but as the season gets dryer they expect an increase and larger fires.  “All the fires we've had so far this year have been preventable and so we're just asking the public to be careful out there make sure you watching the weather and make sure you watching the weather and doing your part to prevent wildfires,” said Curry.

Curry also tells Good 4 Utah, "The state already has a crew out fighting a wildfire in Nevada. He says many other crews are finishing up their training so that they will be ready to go by the end of the month.

For more information on how to prepare download the latest version of the free American Red Cross wildfire safety app for your cell phone or android, or visit http://www.redcross.org/

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