SALT LAKE CITY — All of northern Utah moves to Stage II fire restrictions at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, in an effort to prevent wildfires headed into the Pioneer Day holiday weekend.
In a tweet, Utah Wildfire Information stated that the restrictions mean no campfires, tent stoves, barbecues or fireworks will be allowed on either state or unincorporated private lands. Also banned: smoking, tracer ammunition and cutting, welding or grinding equipment.
All state & unincorporated private lands in Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Weber, Morgan, Davis, Tooele, Salt Lake and Utah counties enter Stage II Restrictions at 12:01 am on July 21, 2021. Open fires of any kind are prohibited.
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 20, 2021
Utah Fire Marshal Coy Porter expressed hope that people will continue to play it safe and smart with fireworks for Pioneer Day and obey the fire restrictions.
“It’s still very dry, obviously, and even though we have these occasional thunderstorms with some rain, it’s not making any dent in the fuel moistures, along the foothills especially,” Porter said.
Porter described the fire danger in most areas as extreme.
Pioneer Day fire restrictions take effect
While rain this week helps, it doesn’t do nearly enough to address the overall dry conditions across the region. Ryan Love, spokesman for the Unified Fire Department, said that open flames pose a particular threat.
“We want to stress campfires, and fully extinguishing your campfires, and recreating with motor vehicles on dry grasses — be mindful, be diligent about what you are doing when you are recreating this summer,” Love said. “We are still ramping up our firefighting efforts. We are staffing extra units in anticipation that there will be more fire than usual.”
But he hopes he is wrong. Love said Utahns took fire restrictions seriously around July 4, resulting in fewer fires than expected. He hopes Utahns will do their part again during the Pioneer Day weekend.
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