The Big Hollow Fire which started on Friday evening is now put out.
The Big Hollow fire was located about a half mile southeast of the Big Hollow Shooting Range just south of the town of Daniel in Wasatch County. The fire started Friday night and burned a total of 77 acres but did not really spread beyond the first night. Mike Eriksson a spokesperson for the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State lands says they got lucky with some cool nights and had access to resources they needed.
The fire started near the Big Hollow Shooting Range and has been determined to be human caused but was not linked directly to the gun range.
“The start of the fire was adjacent to the gun range it was maybe a quarter mile up the road or something,” Eriksson explained. “The ignition point at least. There is a gun range down there, but it didn’t have anything to do with them.”
Eriksson says that nearly all the wildfires in Utah this season were preventable.
“We’ve had a real wet spring and we’ve had kind of a cool June,” Eriksson continued. “It doesn’t mean fires still won’t happen. I mean they’re less intense but if people aren’t being smart about what they’re doing out in the woods then we’re going to get fires like that. So, just be safe and cautious when they’re doing anything that may start a fire. Whether that’s fireworks, or riding their ATV, or shooting, or whatever it might be. All of those things have the potential to start a wildland fire.”
Eriksson encourages people to use common sense to avoid starting a fire and have a plan in place in case a fire does start. He also says that avoiding starting wildfires also relieves a burden on taxpayers. In order to offset those costs Eriksson says government agencies at all levels have been prosecuting those who start wildfires.
“If there was intent, if there was negligence, if there was anything,” Eriksson said. “They will come up after them, or their insurance companies. They’ll certainly try and recoup some of those costs.”
Eriksson gave an example of a car starting a fire.
“Their tire blew as they’re driving down the road, shooting sparks, starting fires, then they’ll go after that insurance company probably,” Eriksson explained. “To get the max or whatever their policy is whether that’s $200,000 or $300,000 or $400,000. Whatever it might be to go back in and recoup some of those costs. Might offset the damages done by any fires.”
Eriksson says that areas in the Wasatch Back have worked to decrease risk of wildfire.
“Summit County is actually getting really good at that; Wasatch County is getting better,” Eriksson continued. “Some of these counties it’s taken some time, but I think they realized word gets out there really fast. When somebody is burning something in their yard, and they don’t have a permit or something and they get an $800 bill that word gets out really quick. Suddenly people are calling to get permits and they’re informing their Fire Departments and they’re taking proper precautions of having water supply there when they’re doing those burns. All those sorts of things. It just becomes a little better when people are aware that they might be held accountable if something goes wrong.”
Additionally, fireworks are not allowed to be discharged again until July 22nd through the 25th in celebration of Pioneer day.
Read the original story at KPCW.org