SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Fire restrictions are in place all over Southwestern Utah and the Arizona Strip after a record number of human caused fires last year.
“It’s due to the extreme drought that we’re in, the record low precipitation that we’ve had recently, higher than normal visitation, and just frankly high fire danger,” says Kait Webb of Utah Fire Management.
- No open fires of any kind except in established public facilities in improved campgrounds, picnic areas, or in permanently constructed fire pits at private homes with running water
- No 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
- No discharging or using any fireworks, tracer ammunition, or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets
- No cutting, welding, or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation
- No operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor
“Those restrictions are in place on all unincorporated state, county, and federally managed lands, with the exception of the Beaver Range District on the Fish Lake National Forest,” says Webb.
Last year on public lands in Iron, Washington, Beaver, Kane, and Garfield counties, officials saw 397 total fires, 255 of those were human caused.
“That’s an increase from what we would consider a normal year. Usually we’re seeing well below 50% on our human caused fires,” says Josh Tibbetts, a fire management officer for Bureau of Land Management Color Country.
Just this year, 62 fires have already happened in the same area, with 56 of them being human caused.
“We could easily surpass that record that we had last year if we don’t see a serious change in the public this season,” says Webb.
Officials say not following fire restrictions could get you up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
For a list of the restrictions and exceptions click here.
For updates on fire information go to utahfireinfo.gov.