NEW HARMONY, Utah (ABC4) – Kolob Reservoir isn’t as quiet as it used to be.
“It was just a free for all, people were just camping everywhere. There was just a lot of conflicts that were going, and of course our concern is the water,” says Zachary Renstrom of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.
This is why officials are making changes. If you plan on camping at the reservoir, you’re going to need a reservation and pay.
“Traditionally, that reservoir was open camping where anybody could just go find a camp spot and stay there, this year what’s changing is we’re going to have designated camp sites,” says Renstrom.
Fire danger in Southwestern Utah is also a concern. Officials say it can be a challenge to get emergency responders to Kolob Reservoir because of its remote location.
“The sheriff’s office plans extra patrols, we’re going to provide extra signage up in that area, you know anyplace in Southwest Utah is a threat right now,” says Mike Melton of the Division of Forestry, Fire, and Lands.
This is why fire restrictions will go into effect in all of Southwestern Utah on May 26. Officials from the Water Conservancy District say the reservoir is only around 50% capacity, also posing a threat.
“But if we have a major wildfire, then all that ash will come in and kill all the fish in the reservoir and then when the water comes down through the Virgin River it will have major effects on the water quality,” says Renstrom.
Officials say if you plan on burning a fire, there is a safer option.
“Propane is a great option. It doesn’t leave a residue, you turn it off and it’s over,” says Melton.
Officials are asking people to respect the land and pack out what you pack in.
For more information on reservations at Kolob Reservoir click here.