Utah issues stage 1 statewide fire restrictions

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UTAH (ABC4) – In light of the ongoing drought conditions in Utah, the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands has issued stage one fire restrictions for all state lands and all private lands outside of city/town borders.

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The restrictions go into effect at midnight on June 10.

The following activities are now prohibited under the new order:

  1. No open fires of any kind except within established facilities in improved campgrounds or day-use areas on public lands, or in permanently constructed fire pits at permanent private dwellings served by pressurized running water.
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area that is paved or free from dry vegetation.
  3. Cutting, welding, or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
  4. Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.

These restrictions do not apply to private lands within incorporated towns or city limits.

Anyone who is found to violate any of the restrictions may face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

“As we’ve seen these most recent wildfires, it is clear that fire danger is higher than in any year
in recent memory,” said Interim Division Director, Jamie Barnes. “Although it’s unprecedented
and comes earlier than any time in the past several years, it’s absolutely necessary now
because current conditions are more indicative of what we’d see during late summer months.”

The order comes on the heels of Utah Governor Spencer Cox issuing a ban on firework on state and unincorporated lands Tuesday.

Campfires and target shooting with a firearm have also been temporarily banned in Utah wildlife management areas (WMAs) due to wildfire concerns, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) released Wednesday morning.

DWR announced the temporary ban for its 146 wildlife management areas Wednesday morning as fire crews work to mitigate multiple wildfires across the state.

According to the DWR, the temporary ban will protect Utah’s wildlife management areas.

“Significant resources go toward improving the habitat in these wildlife and waterfowl management areas to make them more beneficial for a variety of wildlife species, which is why these proactive, preventative measures are so important,” DWR Director Rory Reynolds says. “Protecting these resources from wildfire is crucial for wildlife and is a huge benefit for anglers, hunters, and other wildlife enthusiasts who utilize these properties.” 

Starting now, and until fire conditions improve, target shooting with firearms is not allowed on any WMA, except for in the established shooting range areas here:

  • Big Hollow WMA
  • Fillmore WMA
  • Hobble Creek WMA

Legal possession of a firearm and hunting are not affected, just target shooting with a firearm.

UPDATE: ‘Human-caused’ East Canyon wildfire fire sparks road closures, evacuations in Morgan County 

Campfires of any kind, including portable fire pits, are not allowed on any of the WMAs. As always, fireworks and explosives are not allowed on Utah’s WMAs.

Conservation officers will be enforcing the temporary restrictions. If you are visiting any WMA, you are encouraged to keep your eyes open and report any campfires, fireworks, or any firearm target shooting by calling the UTIP hotline at 1-800-662-DEER (3336), submitting through the UTDWR Law Enforcement app, or by texting 847411. 

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