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Lightening Sparks First Fire of the Summer

The first notable fire of the 2016 season has crews busy controlling a blaze started by lightening in the desert terrain of West-central Utah. By Friday afternoon the North Moore fire was at about 1400 acres. Adam Solt is with the Central Interagency Fire Team. He says wind has been a factor in the fire’s growth but it’s also unusual to have flames with this type of behavior.

“The way the vegetation was burning was somewhat extreme for this time of the year. We had crown fires going from pinion and juniper trees in the crowns and that’s more like your high elevation timber that will crown fire," says Solt, "so to have your pinion and juniper have a crown fire that’s kind of a sign that it is pretty dry or drying out pretty quick.”

Solt says about 140 personnel are on the crew including 6 engines, a bulldozer and a helicopter, but he says they're ready to add more if needed.

“Because out here in the desert you might not think there is a lot of continuous vegetation but in the area where it’s burning there’s quite a bit of grass and sage brush,” says Solt.

The fire is about 10-miles north of the popular Little Sahara Recreation Area. Solt says even though the area around the sand dunes is fully accessible, they are asking visitors to stay well away from the burning area.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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