Welcome to the Wildfire Preparedness Committee of the Greater Avenues Community Council

September 2022 Wildfire Tip:   There is a new GACC Wildfire/Firewise web-page with resources and recommendations for those who live in the “Firewise Candidate" area (and for those living outside the official Firewise area who want to know more about how to protect their home, family and community): See the new page HERE

Over 1,500 residences within the Avenues are vulnerable to the threats and risks of wildfire due to their proximity to the fire-prone “Wildland Urban Interface” (WUI) (see graphic). It is important for these residents to understand how fire can damage their homes and property and how they can lessen the possibility of damage. If each of us does our part to reduce risk, we can collectively create a safer, more resilient neighborhood.wui


The mission of the GACC Wildfire Preparedness Committee is to educate Avenues residents of the dangers of wildfire within our community and to help them prevent, prepare, and mitigate. 


The vision of the Committee is a neighborhood that is resilient to wildfire and whose residents proactively work to reduce the risks associated with living in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

Salt Lake Fire Department Prepares for Wildfire season. https://www.ksl.com/article/50426802/salt-lake-firefighters-transition-to-wildfire-response-preparedness-for-summer-season

GACC Wildfire Preparedness Links:

US Drought monitor – https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Western US Mega drought – https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/american-west-may-be-entering-megadrought-worse-any-historical-record-180974688/

Utah Wildfire Season – https://www.deseret.com/utah/2022/4/11/23020513/california-utah-western-states-face-scary-wildfire-season-drought-snowpack-dry-west

Marshall Fire (Louisville, CO) – https://wildfiretoday.com/tag/marshall-fire/ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yUlntyZW5yo

Weather details of Marshall fire and video of widespread destruction - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jR3O7w9B1xs

NCAR Fire (Boulder, CO) – https://wildfiretoday.com/tag/ncar-fire/ https://wildfiretoday.com/2022/03/27/ncar-wildfire-prompts-evacuations-near-boulder-colorado/

Be Aware of weather conditions – https://www.weather.gov/fire/ https://www.wfas.net/index.php/fire-danger-rating-fire-potential--danger-32 (Eastern Great Basin - Rocky Mountains)

Have a Plan – https://www.slc.gov/fire/ready-set-go/ https://www.ready.gov/wildfires

“Go Bags” - The best go bags are personalized. Everyone's most likely risks (wildfire, earthquake, etc.) and personal needs (kids, pets, meds, etc) are different. Where we are each likely to evacuate to may also be different (shelter, friends or relatives, office space, etc.).

Some people like to pack items by category (or switch out clothes by season) in smaller organization bags like many people use for travel (there are a lot of choices - one example: https://www.eaglecreek.com/collections/organizers   

Here are two web-sites with good suggestions for personalized “Go Bags”: https://www.ready.gov/kit https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SOlvLKjMm0D0sWpqjVxX6Tv5ghft3pUl/view (this is from BeReady.Utah.gov)

SLCFD Personal Risk/Mitigation Assessment – Please email -

How Do Homes Burn in a Wildfire? (Hint – It is often the small things!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QthynXympI

Yard Litter and Landscaping - Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) – https://csfs.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2021_CSFS_HIZGuide_Web.pdf https://www.slc.gov/fire/wildland/

Remodeling - Structural envelope – https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-08/fema_p_737_0.pdf

GACC Firewise Day – https://www.slc.gov/fire/community-wildfire-preparedness-day/ https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/National-Wildfire-Community-Preparedness-Day

SLC September 8, 2020 windstorm – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Utah_windstorm

Five things that need to be done () – https://wildfiretoday.com/2019/04/24/five-things-that-need-to-be-done-to-protect-fire-prone-communities/

Building codes make a difference – https://wildfiretoday.com/2022/01/30/data-shows-building-codes-can-reduce-vulnerability-of-homes-in-wildfires/


The 2022 Avenues Wildfire Preparedness Day is Saturday, May 7.   See more at https://www.slc.gov/fire/community-wildfire-preparedness-day/

You can start placing appropriate materials in parking strip beginning May 5th for collection by the City and the Utah DNR on the week of May 9th. For guidelines on “fuel piles” see this graphic: Firewise Day Guidelines.     To qualify for SLC/Utah DNR pick-up, you must live within the Firewise Community boundaries (enter your address in the map at https://www.slc.gov/fire/community-wildfire-preparedness-day/  Lastly you will need to register your “pile” by entering the time/resources you spent removing fuels from your property at this link: https://form.jotform.com/200704383003037

SLC has a new Citizen Wildfire Mitigation Program for "Fire Mitigation Permit Eligible" properties. Visit this link to see if your property qualifies: https://slcgov.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=647267057ace455bbc388d7816abfb16 

We encourage all to review the “Guidelines for Trimming and Seeding of Grasses on Salt Lake City Open Space Lands Adjacent to ELIGIBLE PARCELS”: https://www.slc.gov/parks/trails-natural-lands/citizen-wildfire-mitigation-permit-program/


The best thing a homeowner can do to protect their property is create defensible space. Some easy and immediate steps to take are:

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris, and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn.
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.

The time you spend on wildfire prevention around your home is important and the SLC Fire Department is asking residents to report the hours you spend removing possible wildfire fuels around your home.

Request a Defensible Space Consultation from SLCFD



Please contact your Greater Avenues Wildfire Preparedness Community Liaison, Shane Carlson, at (801) 596-3939 with any questions.

More information on wildfire prevention and preparation can be seen at https://www.slc.gov/fire/wildland/.

Pick up Firewise information at the GACC booth at the Avenues Street Fair on Saturday, September 11, corner of F Street and 9th Avenue. 

See the Wildfire Evacuation Checklist HERE


Welcome to the Firewise Page of the GACC's Wildfire Preparedness Committee

This page is intended for the over 1,500 residences in the Avenues that are located within the Salt Lake Fire Department's Firewise Candidate Community. These homes are especially vulnerable to the threats and risks of wildfire due to their proximity to the fire-prone “Wildland Urban Interface” (WUI) see graphic. It is important for residents in this area to understand how fire can damage their homes and property and how they can lessen the possibility of damage by taking extra steps to protect their homes.  If each of us does our part to reduce risk, we can collectively create a safer, more resilient neighborhood.


How to tell if your home is in the Firewise Candidate Community?   Enter your address in the map at  Community Wildfire Preparedness

If you would like an individual consultation on how best to improve your home’s chances of surviving a wildland fire event, please e-mail  to request a free wildland fire home assessment. Contact your Greater Avenues Firewise Community Liaison, Shane Carlson, at (801) 596-3939 or

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Welcome to the Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery website.

Tree Planting, Saturday, November 5th from 9am to Noon

You are invited to join the Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery in planting new trees in the Arboretum in the Cemetery on Saturday, 5 November. We are partnering with the Cemetery and the Salt Lake City Urban Forestry Department to plant up to 40 new trees. We’ll meet at the Sexton’s office at the corner of 4th Avenue and N Street at 9 AM and will plan to work until noon. We ask that you pre-register to allow us to better plan for this event. To sign up, please visit the Public Lands website: SLC Cemetary – Tree Planting – Volunteer Opportunity Sign-up .We hope you will be able to join us in planting these new trees at the Cemetery! Bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately. The ground should be nice and soft for digging from the recent rain and snow! 


A Headstone Restoration Workshop was held on Friday June 17, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery, along with the Salt Lake City Cemetery, hosted a Headstone
Restoration Workshop on June 17th . A dozen individuals attended to learn more about repairing and restoring headstones. Some of the attendees were interested in historic preservation, some had relatives in the Cemetery, and some had relatives in other cemeteries and wanted to restore their headstones. There was no charge for the workshop. The workshop was led by Jonathon Appell, a nationally recognized reastoration expert with Atlas Preservation in Hartford Connecticut. Jon is doing a national tour, conducting 48 workshops in 48 states. To learn more about his effort, check out his website at: https://48statetour.com/schedule/salt-lake-city-utah. During the workshop, Jon restored several headstones, demonstrating techniques for levelling and cleaning. He also shared his years of experience, discussing many other headstones in the area.  Thank you Jonathon for sharing your expertise and time!


Memorial Day Recycling Event was held on June 8, 9 and 11, 2022

On behalf of the Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City Public Lands Department, and the Cemetery staff, we wish to thank the approximately 200 volunteers who helped at this year's post-Memorial Day clean-up.   A special thanks to those families, church groups, scouts, and other organizations that came as a group to help out. We collected and sorted the recyclables and compostable materials separate from the trash. It will be a few days before we have a full tally of how much was collected and sorted, but we'll post the information once we have it. In addition to helping keep the cemetery clean and minimizing the waste to the landfill, I hope you found it was a great opportunity to spend time in this beautiful green space and a chance to meet some new members of our community! We look forward to having you join us again next year

2022 Cleanup June Page 1 2022 Cleanup June Page 2 

Cemetery Sustainability Champions

The Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery are grateful to Keith van Otten, the City Sexton, for providing wonderful information on the unique watering needs of the Salt Lake City Cemetery. We are happy to share this information and bring awareness to the unique watering needs of the Cemetery as Cemetery staff constantly strive to balance the multitude of community needs.
Understanding the fascinating irrigation system The irrigation system at the Cemetery is unique. In fact, it utilizes large golf course style broadcasting rotors on the edges of the plats. This style of rotor can spray very long distances. Why is this needed? Because the presence of burials prevents irrigation piping from being run through the plats. Sometimes, this results in spray across internal Cemetery roadways. Wherever possible, cemetery staff have eliminated as many of these locations as feasible.
Trees, Trees everywhere…plus turf!
One of many valuable assets at the cemetery is the vast number of trees scattered throughout the Cemetery. In fact, due to the number of tree species present in the Cemetery, the Cemetery was recently accredited as an arboretum. These trees provide valuable habitat, increase the urban forest canopy, reduce run off, reduce the urban heat island effect, and absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide, storing it as carbon. WOW! Trees require water to stay alive and healthy. Ensuring good watering also helps the trees fight against bark beetles, which has been a prevalent problem in the cemetery over the past several years. While turfgrass can withstand going without much water and bounce back later, trees cannot and will either die or suffer lifelong impacts with underwatering. Due to the nature of the irrigation system in the Cemetery, it is not possible to water just the trees!
The Perpetual Needs of Perpetual Care
Each time a grave is sold in the cemetery, the cemetery enters a contract for Perpetual Care of the property of the grave. This contract guarantees the purchaser proper care of, and a manicured landscape, within the cemetery grounds, particularly the turf on top of the graves. Imagine how complicated this becomes when we experience…DROUGHT conditions!  We have, by the way, been experiencing drought
conditions for the last several years and, in fact, we are already in a drought for 2022. It is a delicate turf balance!  The Cemetery staff constantly balance maintaining the turf to a condition that ensures the cemetery is a comfortable place to visit loved ones while keeping water conservation a top priority and not overwatering!! 

Turf turf everywhere…doing it now…and what this means:  To comply with the Perpetual Care Contracts, the Cemetery places sod as early as possible in the year. This year, sod is being placed over an additional 425 graves from the previous 12 months of burials. By placing the sod as early as possible, the Cemetery is able to take advantage of the spring rainfall. However, additional sod will likely be needed. THIS MEANS…you may see higher levels of turf maintenance and watering at the Cemetery as the turf becomes established…ESPECIALLY in the lead up to Memorial Weekend. But, this additional water use will be offset by additional cut backs throughout other areas. And, following Memorial Weekend and, once the sod becoming established, the water will be further cut back. 

Not all land is Salt Lake City Cemetery land:  Another important, and perhaps unknown, fact is that there are two areas inside the Salt Lake City Cemetery that are not owned or maintained by Salt Lake City. They are located on the South side of the Cemetery and are highly visible to those traveling or living around the area. Please see this MAP. These areas use their own water connections and irrigation systems for control. Cemetery staff received many complaints regarding overwatering in these sections watering last year and both Cemetery staff and Public Utilities reached out to help increase awareness and resolve issues.
Taking technology to a whole new level…soil moisture.    The Cemetery uses a computer-based control system to constantly monitor soil moisture. Wow! This system: (1) uses weather data from local weather stations to determine the amount of water needed in the landscape on an hourly basis; (2) takes into account rainfall, wind, turf type, hill slope, soil type, root depth averages and; (3) combines many other variables to establish a baseline schedule for nightly watering needs. This sophisticated system limits watering to every other night, however to passersby it may appear that watering occurs every night during the peak of the
summer heat. But, watering is NOT happening nightly on the same piece of turf. 

Monitoring and how you can help:  The Salt Lake City Cemetery and the Public Lands Department are committed to making water conservation a top priority. Cemetery staff work closely with the Salt Lake
City Public Utilities Department and their Water Conservation staff to ensure the best management practices are constantly being implementing, especially during the ongoing drought conditions. In a continual effort to be sustainable stewards of the Cemetery, Cemetery staff: 1. Constantly monitor the landscapes and sprinkler systems 2. Implement new maintenance methods and watering technologies wherever
possible 3. Strive to balance the multiple needs while providing the community with enjoyable public spaces.     HOWEVER: 1. the cemetery covers over 127 acres and the Cemetery staff cannot feasibly
check every system for damage or adjustment to the same level as a homeowner. 2. To prevent evaporation and promote conservation, the irrigation systems operate after hours when staff have gone home for the evening. YOU can help: If you are enjoying the Cemetery and notice an irrigation system problem (a blown head, for example), please let the Cemetery know by: 1. By visiting https://saltlakecityut.citysourced.com/  installing the SLCMOBILE APP on your cellphone Or 2. Calling the Cemetery: (801) 596-5020 Or 3. Sending an email to .  MOST importantly: Please provide accurate details of the exact location of the issue and if at all possible, provide a photo that includes some background location references to assist staff in locating it out in the field.  THANK YOU!

Arbor Day April 29, 2022:  Along with Tree Utah and the SLC Urban Forestry staff, Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery participated in planting 10 new trees in the Mark Smith Memorial Arboretum. This was a great way to celebrate Arbor Day! Arbor Day

October 29th, 2021: Salt Lake City Cemetery Held a Tree Planting Event with TreeUtah.  50 trees were planted to replace trees lost in last year's windstorm.

August, 2021:  An update about Water Use at the Cemetery -   The current irrigation system at the Cemetery is complicated because it does not allow trees to be watered separately from turf. Additionally, because a lot of new sod had to be installed this year, due to the extensive damage caused by the windstorm of September 2020, the Cemetery has had to keep the new sod sufficiently watered. However, the irrigation system does have a centralized computer-system that uses local weather station data to help plan efficiently and minimize the amount of water lost through temperature, wind, rain, etc. Recently, for example, the Cemetery has been able to reduce the irrigation system's water use, beginning July 30th - August 11th, due to the amount of rainfall received. The system was then turned back on for two nights of watering, and on Monday, August 16th, the irrigation ran for one night. As of 8:00 a.m. August 20th, with a rainfall total of 1.59 inches for the past two days, the Cemetery has again been able to reduce irrigation. With temperatures projected to be in the 80s through Wednesday, August 25th, the Cemetery hopes to be able to continue reducing irrigation. If community members see a broken irrigation head and can send a photo to the cemetery staff, this is the most helpful as cemetery staff can much more easily track a broken head with a photo. Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery would like the public to know that constant planning and management of the water use at the cemetery is happening. If there are additional questions, please contact the city sexton at .

July 2021 - Totals for the Memorial Day Cleanup Volunteer Event held in June 2021:   A HUGE Thank You! for all who helped our goal to become stewards of recycling and a cleaner environment! About one third of the total debris collected was green waste that is now being composted for future green use.   Recyclable Items- 11,250 pounds (6 tons!!!)    Green Waste collected- 17,480 pounds (9 tons!!!)    Garbage collected- 23,820 pounds (12 tons!!!).    We look forward to this event growing and hosting more cemetery improvement projects. Keep informed at https://www.slc-avenues.org/friends-slc-cemetery.

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Friends Of The Salt Lake City Cemetery was formed as a non-profit 501c3 organization to help Salt Lake City with managing the largest municipal cemetery in the United States.  The cemetery dates back to the mid-1800's when 120 acres were set aside as a permanent city cemetery. The first burial was September 27, 1848.

Located between 4th and 11th Avenue between N Street and U Street in the Avenues, the cemetery is of rich historical significance and is a cultural treasure, containing a number of retaining walls constructed by the Works Project Administration (WPA), capturing a fascinating cultural narrative, and representing an important wildlife role. In fact, the cemetery is one of the site’s for the Audubon’s Annual bird-count survey. It is also a tranquil place for reflection and remembrance.

Given the age of the cemetery, the grounds and infrastructure are in need of repair and restoration, and there are multiple opportunities for future enhancement. The windstorm in September 2020 also wreaked significant damage on numerous monuments and artifacts, and toppled over 260 trees, and the cemetery remains closed to the public at this time for downed tree removal and public safety.  See the current updates HERE

The main goals of the Friends group are to advocate for the cemetery, to engage the public in its history and upkeep, and to help identify and secure funding sources to address some of the needs in the Cemetery’s Master Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in October 2020.

Additionally, the Friends group is working closely with the City’s Public Lands division to identify a number of future volunteer activities to ensure the longevity of this local and national treasure. If you are interested in learning more about the Friends group, or if you have specific expertise that you feel could benefit the Friends group, please email . Visit us on Facebook HERE.