Ahead of holiday weekend, fire restrictions coming for southern Utah

May 25, 2021, 8:10 AM
A wildfire in southwestern Utah destroyed a vacation home and six outbuildings and threatened an additional 30 homes before being contained. (PHOTO: Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands)
(PHOTO: Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — If you’re traveling to southern Utah this weekend, fire officials want you to be aware of some restrictions going into place.

Fire danger in southern Utah

The restrictions from the Bureau of Land Management go into effect starting Wednesday. They will impact Washington, Kane, Garfield, Iron and Beaver counties.

The multiple measures are intended to help keep public lands safe and decrease the risk of human-caused wildfires.

In a press release, Color County District Manager Gloria Tibbetts explained why the restrictions are necessary.

“These restrictions are about keeping public lands open and minimizing the potential loss of wildlife habitat and forage in a year where drought has already caused significant stress,” she explains.

These are considered “Stage 1” restrictions, which include five different provisions.

Make sure you’re campfire is in an approved area

The biggest impact on most travelers are that no open fires are allowed. The only exceptions are if the fire is within an established public facility or in a permanently constructed fire pit at a private home site. If using a fire pit at home, they point out that running water must be easily accessible.

No smoking will be allowed 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.

Officials with the Bureau of Land Management also note that it is unlawful to discharge any fireworks in Utah until July 2.

The stage 1 restrictions will stay in place until fire dangers decrease throughout the area.

Elsewhere, fire restrictions start today along the Provo City Watershed.

Officials say those restrictions are necessary in order to protect the Provo City water supply. They also highlight the dry spring as a potential fire danger.

More than 1,200 fires caused by humans in Utah in 2020

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Ahead of holiday weekend, fire restrictions coming for southern Utah