As we approach the 2019 Utah fire season, we want to take a look back at some things that happened last year to help us avoid mistakes or possibly something much worse that lead to last years out of control fires that ruined the lives of many Utahns. Defending Utah interviews Chance Schmidt, former Forest Service fire fighter and Salt Lake County under sheriff about the possibility that state and federal officials purposefully let last summers Utah fires get out of control.
Here we see the Chance’s public Facebook post where he first recounted his experience:
“So 3 days ago after watching a little tiny plume of smoke southwest of Birdseye I called the Spanish Fork Ranger District Office and asked if they were aware there was a fire near Pole Canyon. The nice lady on the phone told me they were aware of the fire that was caused by lightning last Friday. It was 100% contained and they were letting it burn. It is healthy for the ecosystem she said and crews and air support was on standby if things got out of control. Later that day I called again as I rounded I-15 near payson and Spanish Fork. I asked if they were aware there was a fire in the Nebo wilderness area. I was told the same thing. I asked her if they were concerned with the upcoming forecast of low humidity and high winds. Fire crews are on standby and it’s normal for the smoke to pickup in the heat of the day and it dies down at night. Fire is healthy for the ecosystem. Now I used to fight wild-land fire and if I were incident commander of either of these fires I would’ve taken a few things into account… Severe drought, high winds up to 40mph forecast and low relative humidity. I would’ve knocked them completely OUT BEFORE this mess occurred!! Then… later in the fall ordered a prescribed burn if the area needed it. Like end of October when we actually get rain… And the area isn’t like a gasoline soaked tinder box. I would say the Spanish Fork Ranger District is 100% liable for this catastrophe!! What’s your thoughts? Share share share and let’s get some transparency on who called the shots to let these two fires burn with a week long stretch of red flag warning ⚠️ up and coming!!! It’s going to take a generation before the Nebo Loop and Payson canyon area ever looks half decent again thanks to the Spanish Fork Ranger District that allowed these to fires to burn and destroy YOUR land. This land belongs to the people. It’s public land we entrust the Federal Government to maintain and care for… Time for some restructuring if you ask me. Share if you agree and DEMAND accountability!!!”