UTAH (ABC4) – As we continue through May, many Utahns know that wildfire season will be here soon. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah is preparing for what could be an active wildfire season as we continue through our current drought.
This year, due to the earlier fires in northern parts of the state and the already very dry fuels on the ground, the BLM Utah has started training for their seasonal firefighters. Typically, training starts in late April in southern Utah, but this year, it was started in early April. The BLM wants to be ready to combat any early fires, especially if this year becomes as active as they expect.
One thing that the BLM was able to do when hiring firefighters was to convert about 40 of their career seasonal to full time permanent employees.
Chris Delaney, state fire management officer for BLM Utah, tells us “One of the things we were fortunate is secured some additional funding and we have converted many of what we call career seasonal. These are folks that are only with us during the fire season. We were able to convert approximately about 40 of those employees to permanent full time and they’ll be with us year-round.”
The hiring of more full time employees allows for the BLM Utah to have a more robust crew to fight the fires in our area, and if need be, send resources to other states when needed in their efforts against wildfires.
As always, the BLM Utah wants to remind all recreators to please use public lands responsibly during the summer. That means to secure tow chains when pulling recreation vehicles, to not park over dry grassy areas, and when camping, to ensure that campfires are properly extinguished, meaning that it is cool to the touch. Bringing a shovel can aid in putting out fires and is best to have one with you when out recreating.
For information on possible fires, both wild and prescribed, along with any information on fire restrictions, you can visit Utah Fire Info.