Wildfire season expected to extend into October

LOGAN – Utah’s healthy snowpack and spring rain has greatly impacted this year’s wildfire season.

The good news, according to the Great Basin Coordination Center, there have been 482 wildfires in Utah. Compared to last year’s total number of 1,334 fires.

The bad news, the fire season will likely extend into October this year.

“The forecast is the fire season will go longer than normal, and right now we’re probably going to see it start to crank up,” according to Cache County Fire District Chief Rod Hammer.

Hammer said there have been a couple of wildfires in Cache Valley as of July 30. One in Green Canyon, one on Department of Interior land in Newton and one on the south end of the county. All three were extinguished hours after they were discovered, he reported to the Cache County Council Tuesday night.

The county hasn’t spent any money on fighting wild land fires this year. In fact, explained Hammer, the department’s mitigation crew actually earned close to $20,000 helping other agencies and homeowners clear wood, brush and grass off property in the area.

Mitigation crews will continue focusing their efforts in the Bug Lake area as well as working to clear overgrown grass on a road above Cherry Peak.

One of the biggest fires recently tackled by fire crews was a barn fire at 3703 West 600 South in Mendon on July 29.

That fire was almost explosive in how fast it started,” said Hammer. “We had it controlled in about an hour and a half. It then took 13 hours to tear it apart and mix it up,” he said.

Two full-time fire fighters recently assigned to the Mendon area were first on scene and helped douse the blaze before it spread to a nearby hay stack.  Multiple fire crews from throughout Cache County helped bring that fire under control.

The fire destroyed 700 one-ton bales of hay, a front-end loader, swather and pickup truck. There were no injuries. Losses were estimated to be over $500,000.

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