Fire restriction orders issued for state and federal lands

Photo of an retardant drop on the Three Hill Fire (Courtesy: Caleb Young)

LOGAN — Due to current and forecasted weather conditions coupled with the record dry vegetation circumstances and extreme fire danger throughout Utah, fire restrictions have been issued for much of the state. The two separate orders apply to all state lands and federal lands within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Cache County Fire Chief Rod Hammer said local conditions are really serious and much drier than previous years. He explained what is prohibited under the state order.

“Any campfire is prohibited throughout the area that we’ve discussed,” said Hammer. “Smoking is also prohibited outside of vehicles, where we see fires from smoking embers and that kind of thing. Also, no cutting, welding, or grinding is allowed in dry vegetation. Then of course, operating equipment like motorcycles, chain saws, ATV’s, and any internal combustion engine that can throw off sparks or have heat on the manifold. They must have a working spark arrester.”

The state order specifically applies to all state lands and all unincorporated private lands. It does not affect private lands within incorporated towns or city limits.

A federal order has also been issued by the US Forest Service for national forest lands. It prohibits fires, campfires, and charcoal briquettes except in designated areas. It also limits smoking outside a vehicle or building.

Hammer said this is the earliest he can remember fire restrictions being implemented throughout the state.

“One of the real issues is even if the fire danger isn’t at an extreme level right now, the resources that will be available to fight fires are going to be limited really quickly. They are going to be set to fires in the south area.”

The restrictions are expected to remain in effect until significant precipitation is received. Violators could face possible jail sentences and a fine of up to $1,000.

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