Hansel Valley Wildfire

Thursday, Aug 6th at approximately 1:30pm, Garland Fire Department along with Snowville Fire Department, were paged out to respond to a grass fire in the Hansel Valley area.  On initial call the fire was reported to be about 5 acres in size, with dense black smoke.  There were a couple of houses roughly 1 mile north of the fire, and the fire was being pushed by heavy winds from the south.  Garland responded with 2 Box Elder County Brush trucks and a Water Tender and 7 firefighters.  With Garland being the first on the scene, we reported a well established wildfire in Juniper stands and heavy Cheat-grasses.  Winds were out of the south with gusts at 35-40 mph and we reported 20-30 foot flames from the Juniper and Sage Brush stands.  Shortly after Garland and Snowville was on scene and established an initial attack plan the Box Elder County Fire Marshall arrived on scene and paged additional fire units from all over Box Elder County to assist with the fire fighting efforts.  Some units were already on a fire that had started earlier that morning in the Promontory area.

At it’s peak on Thursday, 35 volunteers were on the fire with 6 brush trucks, 3 water tenders a dozer and a grader.  A couple structure engines were brought in to protect the houses close to the fire also.  By 7pm crews felt the fire was well contained and under control.  However, the wind shifted 180 degrees in less than 1 minute with gusts again up to 30 mph.  It didn’t take much for the fire to jump the lines and make a fast run to the south.  Crews scrambled to gain control of the fire again, and finally at roughly 1 am the fire was once again, contained.

Friday morning Garland along with 3 other departments were paged out again to mop up the fire and ensure the fire was 100% contained.  25 personnel were on the fire Friday for about 12 hours soaking down hot-spots.  Friday brought a few spot fires well within the containment area, but it goes to show what the smallest ember can do left unchecked.  The fire burned 1370 acres.  The fire was started by lighting that moved through the area Wednesday night.

Up until this week the wildfires in Box Elder County have been kept in check.  But with the wet spring the grasses are about a foot higher this year,  this makes for hotter, faster moving fires.  We’ve been lucky that the only thing we’ve been missing so far, is the lightning,  up until Wednesday evening.  Fire conditions are prime, so remember to use care if you find yourself in unestablished areas.  A hot vehicle or a cigarette thrown from a vehicle will easily ignite the dry grasses.

-Steve H, Contributor – GCFD

Images courtesy of Rob Johnson – GCFD.

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Wheat and Beet Days – Garland Utah – 2009

This weekend was filled with endless entertainment for all ages here in the small town of Garland, Utah. The Garland City Fire Department lended a helping hand throughout the Wheat and Beet Days Celebration. Here are some images from the firefighters festivities!

Friday afternoon GCFD led the annual and ever popular childrens bike parade.

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Bringing up the rear of the childrens bike parade.

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Our resident clown keeping the kids (and adults) entertained during the bike parade.

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Friday afternoon, Honeyville joined in for the annual Firemen’s Challenge. They competed for the fastest time on a team event which included tying knots, donning full gear, deploying and connecting hoses, dragging a life-sized dummy to safety, using their hoses and then packing it all back up.

Alan and Jeff in the engine preparing for the challenge.

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Jeff and Steve returning after hauling out a hose.

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Bret working the equipment on top of the engine.

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Honeyville Fire Department taking their turn during the challenge. We don’t want to talk about who won. *grin*

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The life-sized dummy hitching a ride home after the challenge.

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Saturday morning was the Garland City Parade. GCFD represented with all of their equipment and engines filled with their families.

And of course, let’s talk about Saturday afternoon and the extremely popular and overly-fun fireman’s water fight!  Tremonton Fire Department came in force and participated in soaking the entire Garland neighborhood gathering which included adults as well as children! No one was safe here! Even those who thought the bowery was a good haven! This has to be a favorite for everyone. If you haven’t been to this yet, make plans to join us next year. It’s always a crowd favorite. Listening to that many kids squealing with happiness is truly electric! It’s not an event you should miss. Yes, you will get wet!

The foam was brought out and the kids gathered! Bob and a Tremonton fire fighter keep many kids entertained here.

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Steve on the cannon for GCFD.

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Tremonton lending a hand and showing us their ladder truck.

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Then the GCFD firemen gathered at the Garland City park on Saturday night to light off fireworks. The crowd was as large as ever and so we’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support during the Wheat and Beet Days festival. We really hope to see you there next year!

-Shelley H, Contributor