Just thought I would update all of you non-Utahans on the scary turn of events that happened for many Utah residents just 20 or so minutes from my apartment. Thursday morning the fire was sparked by two target shooters and quickly spread to a current 6,023 acres burned. Authorities believe the fire was started when a bullet hit a rock setting off a spark.
We’ve had such a dry year and the high temperatures and winds made the ground ripe for a blaze. There are actually 4 fires in the state of Utah right now but the other 3 are located in less populous regions. The estimates on people and homes evacuated have run the gambit but most of them say around 2,300 homes and in Utah that’s a lot of people! Mia Love says over a 1/3rd of her city Saratoga Springs is evacuated.
As I watched the reporting yesterday one of the FEMA reps said the response of evacuees in Utah was much more organized and orderly than in Colorado and other areas that have recently been affected by fire. I have to give some of that credit to my church that regularly focuses on emergency preparedness, having a years supply of food and a 72 hour kit ready to go. For us it isn’t just a good idea but doctrine to live by.
For more information on emergency preparedness go to:
Also at the LDS Distribution Store you can purchase food storage at very reasonable prices.
I was also impressed with how quickly the Red Cross, community businesses like Walmart and the Home Depot, The State of Utah and organizations from many churches gathered together to take care of evacuees and firefighters. I hope I can find a way to help out. The American Red Cross is a particularly amazing organization. Seemingly instantly they had a shelter set up with donations and food. It’s comforting to know that if the worst happens your community is ready to support you and get you through it. I love living in Utah.
There were even organizations that quickly came to provide refuge for pets (which are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters). An animal sanctuary of exotic animals was a great concern but all the animals are safe.
It was also great to see the calm of the evacuees. I was impressed that so many interviewed weren’t anxious about their possessions but grateful for safety and hopeful that things would be ok. I’m sure they put a brave face before the cameras but still it was impressive.
Anyway, last I read about 30% of the fire was contained but winds were kicking up dust and making it more difficult. The smoke is palatable. I live in Draper about 30 minutes away and it is difficult to go outside for any time period. My friend was hiking up Bell Canyon and had ash fall on her. Same thing happened to friends swimming in the Great Salt Lake. A guy on the news yesterday said he could see the smoke in Park City and some reported smoke as far away as Evanston, WY!
I am not really a gun person but I generally support those who want to own a gun to have that right. That said common sense and reasonable regulations are appropriate. Just as a snowboarder is not allowed to go out in avalanche conditions because of the danger to himself and the natural disaster he could cause, gun enthusiasts should be required to follow sensible rules to keep themselves and all around them safe from fire. This is the 19th fire this year in Utah from gun related spark! People around here freak out at any kind of gun regulation but why not go somewhere else that isn’t so dry and susceptible to fire? Is that asking too much?
Anyway, hopefully homes and lives will continue to be protected from the fire. My thoughts and prayers are with the evacuees and with the brave men and women who are fighting the beast of a fire.
All of these photos are from the Daily Herald.