South Davis County is an extraordinary place. Whether its our high school athletes and drill team dancers, our thriving manufacturing businesses such as Orbit or Bountiful’s quaint and cozy Main Street, we have a lot to be proud of.
Let’s not make Davis County famous for a wildfire.
True, these fires are also extraordinary. I have seen them up close in my work as a reporter, and unlike house fires or even industrial fires, they literally fill the sky with smoke. The enormity is breathtaking.
And like the living creatures they destroy, fires jump and twist unexpectedly. This was all too apparent this week while the nation mourns the loss of 19 hotshot firefighters in Arizona.
In Utah, I have seen an acre of dry brush torched in seconds, and I witnessed mighty pine trees up to 20 feet away exploding in flame.
Throughout south Davis, fireworks aren’t allowed this year east of 400 East and Orchard Drive. If you live in one of these areas, I urge you to follow the law and keep yourself, your neighborhood and the beautiful mountains above us safe.
Last year, five fires were started from fireworks in south Davis alone. No one ever expects it to happen to them, but there’s always a chance. Don’t take it.
Like many of you, I love fireworks. The sparkle and pop represent summer to me, right alongside lemonade and flip flops.
Like South Davis Metro Fire Chief Jeff Basset and Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson say, though, you can still enjoy the splendor of fireworks without lighting your own С just look to the many city celebrations around the county. You can also travel west to some public parking lots or the homes of friends and relatives to enjoy your Independence Day and Pioneer Day fun.
Fire risk doesn’t only come from fireworks, however. Target shooting limits have yet to be put it place in this area, but several officials say the danger is at least as bad this year as last, if not worse.
For the sake of your community, please consider using shooting ranges until the dry season ends.
It’s also a good idea to avoid open campfires this year, and if you’re on many pieces of federal land, it’s illegal to burn openly.
Furthermore, I would be remiss not to mention water conservation. The reservoirs around us are low, meaning any wildfire would be especially difficult to fight. Low reservoirs also mean high electricity rates, so its good for your pocketbook to save water. Don’t water during the day, and limit your watering to a few times a week.
We live in a high desert, and must respect whatever droughts, windstorms and heat waves nature hands us.
If we all sacrifice a little bit and take the necessary precautions, we can do it: Let’s stay extraordinary for our accomplishments, not our wildfires.