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Front Page » March 22, 2007 » Local News » Price fire department slates demonstration
Published 2,718 days ago

Price fire department slates demonstration


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher


Flames engulf a power pole near Gordon Creek Road after a fire spread across a dry field in 2005. Wildfires account for significant damage to utility lines, fences and outbuildings in the county. Proper management and compliance with controlled burn regulations can reduce wildfire risks.

Every year, thousands of people across the country have the experience of being involved in fires.

In Carbon County, fires claim homes and business properties almost every month. And in the spring and summer, grass and wildfires often destroy out buildings and a home or two.

All uncontrolled fire is dangerous. When the incidents occur, the most important aspect of danger is not about property, but lives.

In the last few days, fire chiefs from various agencies have joined forces to spell out a number of things about the emergency situations for the business community and general public.

"We have a lot of business owners in town who don't think fire is much of a threat," said Price Chief Paul Bedont. "Many think working exit lights aren't too important. But in a fire, they can mean the difference between life and death."

The Price fire department will present a demonstration March 29 to show what it is like to be in a burning building with smoke pouring out of the windows.

"When a building gets filled with smoke, without some kind of marker, it is almost impossible to find the way out," explained Bedont. "Lit exit lights serve that purpose well."

On March 29, the Price department will set up a smoke machine in the former Breinholt Music building. The demonstration will allow residents to experience what it is like to be in a commercial building full of smoke without exit lights

The event is open to property and business owners as well as private citizens. The demonstration will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and include numerous displays as well as informational sites.

In the spring, many wildfires are caused by people burning illegally. The county and cities, in conjunction with fire warden Rudy Sandoval, have set up regulations for outside burning.

In the unincorporated areas, residents are allowed to burn without a formal permit between Nov. 1 and May 31. Permits must be obtained from the county fire warden to burn

Once permits are obtained, all residents are required to call and obtain daily approval from the public safety dispatcher at 637-0893.

State law allows open burning only when atmospheric conditions allow and the dispatch center has the information, which is updated daily.

Open burning is only allowed during daylight hours. Permit holders must monitor the fires at all times. People are responsible for any fires they start . They could be held criminally or civilly liable for suppression costs and damages which occur as a result of an uncontrolled fire.

Most cities within the county have ordinances regulating open burning. In order to maintain uniformity and comply with state and federal regulations, the fire chiefs and county warden have set April 2 through May 2 as the season for municipalities which allow open burning. Detailed rules governing open burning can be obtained from local fire departments or city offices.

General guidelines include:

•Price - With few exceptions, no open burning is allowed within the city limits.

•Helper - Required permits may be obtained from Helper police department Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The free permits are good for three days,.

•Wellington - Required permits may be obtained by residents 18 years of age or older from the city offices on regular business days between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The free permits are valid for one day,.

•East Carbon - Required permits may be obtained by residents 18 years of age or older from the city offices on regular business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The permits are valid for two days.

•Sunnyside - Required permits may be obtained from the city offices on regular business days between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

•Scofield - Due to the mountainous terrain and proximity to United States Forest Service property, the open burn season in the Scofield area differs from the rest of the county. Residents may contact the town offices at (435)448-9221 for information.

Every year, out of control fires which were set as controlled burns destroy property in the county.

Frequently uncontrolled blazes occur because the people who start controlled burns do not follow the rules or use common sense, indicated local officials.

Officials offer several safety tips for people to follow to help prevent fires from getting out of control. Residents should:

•Obtain permits if required.

•Notify public safety dispatch every morning before burning and contact the center when the burning is complete.

•Clear the burn and adjacent areas of combustible materials to prevent the fire from spreading.

•Try to keep brush piles small and limit the size of the burn area to prevent the fire's spread.

•Never leave controlled burns unattended.

•Have a way to extinguish the fire. Examples include shovels, fire extinguishers, hoses.

•Closely monitor the wind conditions and extinguish the fire if burning embers begin to blow toward other combustibles.

•Burn only weeds, tree limbs, branches, leaves, grass, etc.

•Have a way to quickly call for help should the fire get out of control.

•Make certain that the fire is completely out before leaving the controlled burn area.



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