A salute to firefighters | SummitDaily.com

A salute to firefighters

Hats off to all the firefighters, homeowners and police officers who prevented Monday’s fire in Farmer’s Korner from claiming lives and damaging property.While many wildfires this season in Summit County have been relatively small – an acre or less – this one was far different. And none have been “easy.”On Monday, the wind became a fierce enemy, pushing the fire over the ridge on Ophir Mountain and straight into the forest around the high school and a nearby neighborhood. Even as the fire quickly destroyed 12 acres and surrounded the homes, firefighters and emergency personnel didn’t flinch.The rescuers saved every house. They saved the high school. And this, in a patch of pine beetle kill-laden forest that was nothing more than tinder waiting for a match. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect area in the county for a wildfire to become out of control and affect the lives of hundreds of residents.Even as the blaze became passive Monday night, a group of two dozen firefighters slept in wildland trucks near the fire scene to make sure the fire didn’t rekindle.Truly, this county is lucky to have such coordinated and responsible emergency responders willing to risk their lives. We all owe them something. For homeowners, this means working hard with fire mitigation officers to clear dead trees and brush from around their houses. The value of this work has never been more evident than on Monday, a day Bill Kight with the U.S. Forest Service deemed a “wake-up call,” and the day before he credited the prevention work for keeping the flames at a distance.

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