Mayors of Utah Valley: A mayor’s view of the Traverse Mountain wildfire response

in Government

As our city expanded into the surrounding wildlands area, there have always been concerns about the inherent risk associated with dry fuel and the potential fire danger.

There have been frequent notifications for those that live in the areas along Dry Creek and the Low Hills of this danger and the restrictions associated with the area. On the night of June 27 that concern became a reality.

At approximately 11:13 p.m., the Traverse Mountain fire was ignited through a thoughtless act. At 11:31 p.m. I received a brief text notifying me of the fire, and I immediately headed out to my deck that has a clear view of the mountain. My vantage point was 2 miles away, but I could easily see that the potential of this fire was immediately terrifying. Within moments I was on the phone with our city administrator and he was already setting up the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is the command center established to direct required services and personnel during an emergency, and this was an emergency. Fortunately, Lehi City has required specific employees to receive training at FEMA so that each necessary role is filled with someone capable of performing specific tasks during an emergency.

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