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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Dave Vickers, Weber County fire warden, left, is thanked by Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, as the House honors firefighters who helped combat the 2012 wildfires at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers honored local firefighters Wednesday for their hard work and bravery during a "unprecedented" season of wildfires.

"You are our homegrown heroes," said Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, the Senate sponsor of HCR4. "You save us, you protect us and you put your life every day on the line for us."

Mayne said the 2012 wildfire season was Utah's busiest on record.

"Lower than average snowpack from a dry spring resulted in unseasonably early fire conditions," Mayne said. "By the time the official fire season started, Utah had experienced the driest May and June in 30 years."

There were 1,528 fires in 2012, she said, and the 413,626 acres burned was well above the 10-year average.

"That mitigation or prevention of wildfires may be as important as the job you are doing to control the fires themselves," said Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe.

Rachel Lowry