Utah’s wildfire season surpasses five-year average with 126 blazes

Utah Wildfires

(ABC4) – Utah’s current fire season has far passed the five-year average for this time of year in the number of fires and acres burned, according to Utah Fire Info.

Already this year, Utah has seen 126 wildfires and more than 6,200 acres burned, Utah Fire Info says in a Facebook post. The five-year average for this time of year is 46 starts and 189 burned acres.

The majority of those fires have been caused by humans. The post warns that conditions are dry across the state.

According to the Utah Wildfire Dashboard‘s Season Summary, Uintah County is the county in the state that has seen the most wildfires so far this season. Uintah County is closely followed by Duchesne County in number of wildfires.

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Notable fires that has occurred this season include the Little Pass fire in Tooele County, which was discovered on April 4, according to the dashboard. The fire was human-caused. Another was the East Myton Fire in Duchesne County, which was discovered on March 29, and was also human-caused. The blaze threatened 17 buildings, including homes, and required evacuation orders for eight homes.

In addition, the Choke Cherry wildfire in Iron County has been mapped at 660 acres and charred the landscape. Investigators say the fire was caused by a legally permitted burn that was not properly extinguished. The fire was reignited by wind and spread to dry, nearby vegetation.

Choke Cherry Fire, photo courtesy Utah Wildfire Info

To prevent human-made wildfires, exploding targets are currently prohibited in Utah and Tooele Counties.

What should I do if I start a fire?

“Immediately report it,” Kaitlyn Webb, Statewide Prevention and Fire Communications Coordinator for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, says. “The quicker that fire resources are of aware of a start, the quicker they can respond, hopefully, the smaller they can keep the wildfire and the less risk there is.”

Staying on the scene to answer questions as firefighters arrive can also be very helpful, Webb states.

Webb says if you came prepared with the right equipment, such as a fire extinguisher, water, or shovel, you can try to put it out without placing yourself at risk.

“The first step is really making sure you have the right equipment when you’re out and about doing whatever it is you may be doing.”

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