IN FOCUS Discussion: Responding to Utah’s Drought and Heat Wave

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The state of Utah saw its driest year on record in 2020, and experts say this year won’t get any better. We also hit the earliest 100-degree day in the books this year on June 4.

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Today, Governor Spencer Cox issued a third drought executive order, further restricting water use at state facilities and banning fireworks use on state lands. This comes with serious implications for our water supply, wildfire season, and outdoor activity.

So what are some steps we can all take to help mitigate the impact?

Candice Hasenyager, deputy director for the Utah Division of Water Resources, joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion about water conservation.

She talked about this year’s drought conditions and how it compares to years past, why snowfall levels impacts our state’s water supplies, the consequences we’re already seeing in our state because of the drought, the long-term impacts we could see if we don’t take proper measures, and what steps Utahns can take both indoors and outdoors to conserve water.

Kait Webb, wildfire public info for the Utah Division of Fire, Forestry, and State Lands, discussed last year’s wildfire season data, the most common mistakes they see people make that lead to a fire, what concerns her the most about this year’s wildfire season, how wildfire crews prepared for this potentially busy season, and the measures Utahns need to take when practicing fire safety.

Patrol Admin Sgt. Chris Pope with Davis County Sheriff’s Office talked about the type of calls they see an uptick in during the summer, how they prepare for the season, the most common mistakes they see people make that lead to dangerous situations, the impact fatal situations have on first responders and their mental health, and what they want Utahns to remember as they head outside this summer to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Hasenyager, Webb, and Sgt. Pope, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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