Government agencies mitigate risk of wildfire in Utah

Local, state & federal agencies remove trees and overgrowth

To lessen risk of a catastrophic fire in Parley’s and Lambs Canyon in Utah, public agencies are removing potential sources of fire fuel.

Prevention of devastating wildfires is expect to protect the water supply for the Salt Lake Valley and improve wildlife habitat in the Parley’s Creek Watershed.

Wildfires happened in the Lambs Canyon area two years in a row, while a fire in Parley’s Canyon last year evacuated about 10,000 residents.

If we had a large catastrophic wildfire, it could introduce pollutants into the water system and basically make this water not reliable for safe drinking,” said Laura Briefer, director of the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLC DPU).

Since 2019 fire fuels thinning efforts have progressed in multiple phases. A process known as mulching is used to mimic results of a natural fire cycle.

This project brings together the USDA Forest Service, the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Summit County and the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.

Fallout from wildfires requires long-term water quality monitoring. Especially in the western region, KISTERS software customers are monitoring long-term hydrological and water quality impacts from fires from the Pacific Northwest down to Southern California in order to inform watershed planning and climate resilience. Following widespread brushfires in 2019 and 2020 communities in Melbourne and Victoria State Government in Australia are doing likewise with the use of KISTERS IT solutions.

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