UTAH

Spring runoff feeding fire fuel, but well-placed rain showers will help

May 1, 2023, 2:00 PM

This season's spring runoff may lead to high fire danger later in the year. Water flowing down the ...

FILE: A firefighter sprays water on a fast-moving grass fire along I-80 near 5600 West and 7200 West in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. The state fire marshal said the 2023 spring runoff could lead to high fire danger, but, some well places rain storms could lessen the danger. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2023 spring runoff may lead to high fire danger later in the year.

Water flowing down the mountains has started to bring tall grasses and vegetation to life. Eventually, these grasses will dry out and create a fire risk.

“Those grasses, because of all the moisture, won’t start to dry out until late summer or early fall. So we’re anticipating the fire danger this year being later than it has been in the last few years,” says State Fire Marshal Ted Black.

However, if the state gets some rain showers later in the spring and early fall, Black says fire danger could stay low for the whole year.

“A few well-placed rain storms and a good solid winter like we’ve had, we could go a year without any significant wildfire.”

Currently, fire danger across the state is low.

Black says low danger doesn’t mean no danger, and Utahn’s should continue to exercise caution around fires.

“We’ve learned some great skills in preventing fire over the past few years where we had a serious drought situation. Keep practicing those skills.”

Related reading: What to do if you find yourself trapped by wildfire while driving

 

 

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Spring runoff feeding fire fuel, but well-placed rain showers will help