Yesterday evening as I sat at home at my desk I heard thunder and the crack of lightning and I cringed because because this is the time of the year that dry lightning can easily cause wildfires here in the west. The grasses here are now quite dry, including the cheatgrass on the island, and fires can literally explode with so much dry fuel and I thought about that after I heard the lightning crack.
Friday evening a wildfire started on Antelope Island State Park several miles northwest of Fielding Garr Ranch. The cause is thought to be lightning. So far the campgrounds are not threatened but several of the group campgrounds at White Rock Bay were evacuated to make room for firefighters. This morning they will begin to actively fight the fire.
I sincerely hope that no one attempts to fly their drones over the wildfire on the island because drones risk the safety of the firefighters in the air. But know this… Utah passed a new law that allows authorities to shoot down, disable and jam the drones signals and crash them when they feel it is needed. So all that money spent on the drone & camera will be lost. Additionally the operator of drones near wildfires could be fined up to $2,500 plus jail time if a drone flying near a fire stops aircraft from flying or dropping water or retardant.
Personally, I applaud the new laws concerning drones over wildfires.
I hope the fire is put out quickly and safely today and that not one idiot tries to fly their drone over the fire. Let’s also hope the wind doesn’t kick up today.
The trails on the island are closed as is Fielding Garr Ranch. I imagine the Antelope Island State Park Facebook page will have updates soon.
7:05 am MT, 8,000 acres have now been burned of the 28,800 acre park.
12:00 pm MT, 10,000 acres have now burned. Winds are an issue.
8:30 pm MT, 13,740 acres burned.