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Tips to protect your home from fires in wildland areas

A brush fire overnight had neighbors on edge in Farmington as flames came close to their homes.
 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) - A brush fire overnight had neighbors on edge in Farmington as flames came close to their homes.The fire started just before midnight after a transformer blew causing six acres to burn. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no homes were damaged.

The fire happened near 1700 South and 100 East. A neighborhood, like many across the state, that could quickly be destroyed should nearby brush catch fire.

Ken Allen lives right below where the mountainside was burning. He tells ABC 4 Utah what was going through his mind as his home was so close to the fire. “I could see the flames flying high enough that you could see those embers flying and they were falling down around the house and I thought oh that's what I need is to have the house catch on fire just because of that."

Trying to be prepared, Allen had his family ready to evacuate, but the thought of his home being destroyed was a concern. “I thought about maybe getting a hose out and being prepared that way, but it never got to that point, but we were just trying to be prepared for whatever might happen.”

Farmington Fire Chief Guido Smith says this particular fire was within 150 feet of homes and was only a wind shift away from being disastrous.  He says there are a few things people living so close to brush can do to defend their homes. “Defensible space is probably one of the key things. That is reducing or minimizing the amount of fuels between your homes and the interface itself."

Chief Smith says there are also several steps homeowners can take to protect their homes even further. “Look up the resources fire wise community online, speak to your local fire departments. Your local fire departments, they know the history of the area and topography, weather patterns fuel loads. Fire departments are more than happy to come out and help you perform an assessment on your property so you can make it safer,” says Chief Smith.

Although this brushfire was not human caused Chief Smith advises using things like fire- pits with caution especially during high fire season.

As for residents in the area, they say they will sleep much more soundly. “I feel relieved; a lot relieved I just didn't want anything to happen to any of the neighbors. We'd be okay whatever happened, but I just wanted to make sure everybody was ok,” says Allen.

Fire fighters continued to clean up throughout the morning Thursday.  They will also continue to monitor the area for any hot spots throughout the day.

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