WILDFIRE

Lowest number of Pioneer Day weekend human-caused fires on record

Jul 29, 2021, 11:46 AM | Updated: 3:20 pm
pioneer day fires hit new low according to utah dnr...
Photo: Utah Department of Natural Resources office, 1594 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT (Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio)
(Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fire officials are thanking Utahns for being responsible and using Fire Sense over the Pioneer Day holiday weekend this year because human-caused fires were at a record low. 

Pioneer Day fires drop to new low

The Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said there were 13 human-caused fires during the week of July 19-25, the lowest number for a July 24 holiday weekend on record. 

“It slows the season significantly when we’re having less of those human-caused wildfires. Can’t do anything about the lightning; they’re going to happen no matter what. So, preventing those human-caused wildfires makes a huge impact,” said Kait Webb, Utah Department of Natural Resources fire-prevention coordinator.

As far as naturally-caused fires during the same period, crews were able to knock down all 69 of them within the first day. 

The typical ‘fire season’ no longer exists

Despite the good news, Webb said we cannot become complacent now. This is mostly because the traditional “fire season” is no a longer a term. It’s now a “fire year.” 

“We are asking the public not to let their guard down,” Webb said. “It’s really easy when you hear about the flooding in southern parts of the state and continued rain showers to feel a false sense of security and that prevention isn’t as necessary anymore, that fire risk has been fully eliminated. That’s not the case.” 

The DNR said it could be busy in the coming weeks with the threat of scattered thunderstorms across the state. 

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Lowest number of Pioneer Day weekend human-caused fires on record