It may seem strange to be issuing an extension of open flame and burning restrictions just as the weather here in northern Utah turns cooler and wetter. However, we are not out of the "woods" yet when it comes to wildland fire risk. The Utah State Forester has determined that the northern counties, including Weber, are at risk of "extreme fire danger" and as such, has recommended that restrictions stay in place until October 1, when they can be re-evaluated. The open flame restrictions apply to all areas east of Harrison Boulevard within Ogden City, all wooded areas along the Ogden and Weber River Parkways, and all open fields, vacant lots, wooded areas and brush-covered hillsides throughout the City.
Additionally, the typical permit process for open burning of yard debris has been postponed by the Utah Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) county-wide due to this extreme fire danger. The Utah DEQ has stated that they will also re-evaluate this decision on October 1st. As of today, the Ogden City Fire Department will not be issuing burn permits any sooner than October 1st.
As we have seen from the recent events in Uintah, fires can spread very quickly and cause tragic losses. Ogden City would like to take this opportunity to remind its citizens of the need for "defensible space." Creating defensible space – an area of at least 30 feet surrounding the home and outbuildings – serves as a safety zone around the structures. Within this area, the vegetation should be controlled and the area free of dead debris, leaves, and flammable vegetation in order to prevent a wildfire from traveling from the forest to the structure. Maintaining a green space landscaped with fire resistant vegetation improves the safety zone. The roof, exterior, and attachments to the structures (decks, porches or fences) should all be constructed with fire-resistant materials. In addition, each household should prepare a disaster plan. The wildland urban interface poses a tremendous challenge for the structural and wildland fire personnel that respond to incidents.
The Ogden City Fire Department takes the safety of its citizens and the protection of their property very seriously. Please help us in this task by being as prepared as possible.
JUNE 20, 2017 THROUGH AUGUST 15, 2017 OR UNTIL CONDITIONS IMPROVE
FIREWORK AND OPEN FLAME RESTRICTIONS
Background: Late spring wet weather caused a fast growth of grasses and other light fuels along the Wasatch front and river corridors. In addition, data provided from the US Forest Service suggests that fuels in areas of Ogden’s east bench have already reached “extreme” levels. The long-range forecast for the Ogden area indicates temperatures averaging in the upper 90’s for the remainder of June and most of July with no to very little scattered rain from thunderstorms. Based upon this data, the following restrictions are being established.
By Order of the Fire Marshal: The following restrictions shall apply to the use of fireworks and open flames. The restrictions will be in effect from June 20th 2017 through August 15th 2017, or until conditions improve.
The use of any firework device or open flame shall be prohibited in the following defined restricted areas.
Geographical Areas Defined:
- All areas east of Harrison Boulevard from the north city boundary to the south city boundary.
- All wooded areas along the Ogden and Weber River Parkway beginning at Harrison Blvd and continuing along the pathways to the west City boundary and the south City boundary. This also includes all associated parks along the River corridor.
- All of Fort Buenaventura, the City baseball park and dog park area located off of A Ave.
- The old landfill property located at approx. 2550 A Ave., near Fort Buenaventura.
- All open fields, vacant lots, wooded areas, and brush covered hillsides throughout the City.
Unlawful Acts Defined:
See Ogden City Ordinance 11-6-3, section D:
11-6-3. [HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:]
A. [Definitions:] For purposes of this section:
IGNITION SOURCE means any lighted or burning material or object, including recreational fires or campfires, a lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, firework, lighter, match, or smoking paraphernalia. MOUNTAINOUS, BRUSH-COVERED, OR FOREST COVERED AREAS means areas or zones with open fields, vacant lots, wooded areas, and brush covered hillsides throughout the city; and includes all wooded areas along the Ogden and Weber river parkway beginning at the eastern boundary of the city at the mouth of Ogden Canyon and continuing along the pathways to the west city boundary and the south city boundary and any associated parks along the river corridor; all of Fort Buenaventura, the city baseball park and dog park area located off of A Avenue; and the old landfill property located at approx. 2550 A Avenue, near Fort Buenaventura.
WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE AREA means the line, area, or zone where structures or other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland; and includes all areas of the city east of Harrison Boulevard from the north city boundary to the south city boundary.
B. [Prohibition on Use of Ignition Source:] It is unlawful to ignite or use an ignition source in the following areas during those periods of time that the fire marshal has determined hazardous environmental conditions exist or are expected to persist when notice has been filed with the City Recorder:
1. Mountainous, brush-covered, or forest-covered areas;
2. The wildland urban interface area; or
3. Land being used for an agricultural purpose.
A violation of a notice issued under this section is a class B misdemeanor, subject to the penalties provided under title 1, chapter 4, article A of this code.
Individuals responsible for fires that result from negligence including the parents of minors may be held accountable for the cost of damages and expenses related to firefighting efforts. See City Ordinance 12-12-3.
Please report all fires and fireworks that you witness in the restricted areas by calling Weber Area Consolidated Dispatch Center at 801-629-8221.
PLEASE HELP KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE FROM FIRES. WE URGE EVERYONE TO USE COMMON SENSE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND PRACTICE EXTREME CAUTION.