UTAH (ABC4) – Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect for Southwestern Utah starting Wednesday, May 26.

The Utah Department of Natural Resources has issued a Fire Restriction Order, which you can see below, which cites the current and forecasted weather conditions, as well as the extremely dry vegetation conditions, as the reason for the order.

“Measures must be taken to prevent the ignition of forest and rangeland fires,” the order reads.

Affected areas include all unincorporated private and all state land within Beaver, Garfield, Kane, Iron, and Washington counties. Private lands within incorporated towns or city limits are not affected.

Under a Stage 1 fire restriction order, the following acts are prohibited:

  1. No open fires of any kind except within established public facilities in improved campgrounds, picnic areas. -OR- In permanently constructed fire pits at private homes where running water is present.
  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. Discharging or using any fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets.
  4. Cutting, welding or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
  5. Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small, internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.

The following persons are exempted from the above prohibitions:

  1. Persons with a permit or waiver issued by the Division, specifically authorizing a specified act
    at a specific location. A waiver does not relieve the permittee of liability if a fire does occur.
  2. Any on-duty firefighter in the performance of an official duty.

Any of the above acts is a violation of state law, according to the order, and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

You can view the full order here:

Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.

The Bureau of Land Management has already issued a fire prevention order for its Utah areas. Prohibited acts under this order include:

• The non-commercial use/discharge of explosives of any kind, incendiary or chemical devices, pyrotechnic devices, exploding targets, pressurized containers or canisters, and binary explosives.
• The use/discharge of any kind of fireworks as defined by this order.

This order went into effect on May 19.

On Thursday, Governor Spencer Cox addressed the state’s drought concerns, saying there would be cutbacks and Utahns would need to be responsible with water usage.

“Most Utahns overwater,” says Cox, adding little things like dragging a chain behind a truck or shooting guns in a dry area could be especially dangerous this summer.

“How bad it gets really depends on the weather,” he concluded.