PRICE, Utah (ABC4) – As two large wildfires continue to burn in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service has implemented stage 1 fire restrictions.
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These regulations will apply to all National Forest System lands located within the Sanpete, Ferron/Price, Moab, and Monticello Ranger Districts of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
According to the National Forest Service, the following activities are now prohibited under these new restrictions:
- Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire, including charcoal and briquettes, outside a fire structure that is provided by the Forest Service within a designated area
- No discharging of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices outside of incorporated city limits. This applies year-round to national forest lands
- No shooting of exploding targets or tracer ammunition. This applies year-round to national forest lands
- No cutting, grinding, or welding of metal in areas of dry vegetation. This includes acetylene torches
- No use of equipment without a working and properly maintained spark arrestor. This applies year-round to national forest lands
- No smoking near vegetation or outside of a developed recreation site, personal vehicle, or building
These mandates will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on June 18.
Anyone who violates them could face a maximum fine of $5,000 for individuals, $10,000 for organizations, and a maximum prison sentence of six months.
Officials say the new restrictions are being put in place following a “noticeable increase” in recreation in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, which could lead to an increase in human-caused wildfires.
“We find conditions out on the forest are extremely dry, and due to two consecutive winters of less than normal snowpack, fire restrictions are necessary to reduce the threat of wildfire and to keep everyone safe while recreating on our public lands,” said Darren Olsen, acting Manti-La Sal Forest supervisor.
Two wildfires are currently burning in the Manti-La Sal National Forest; the Bennion Creek Fire has reached a size of over 7200 acres and is 10% contained while the Pack Creek Fire has now burned over 8,200 acres and is 6% contained as of Monday afternoon
The announcement of Manti-La Sal National Forest’s stage 1 fire restrictions comes on the heels of the state of Utah, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, and Fire and State Lands issuing statewide stage 1 fire restrictions for all state lands and all private lands outside of city/town borders.