Strong winds increasing fire danger in Utah

Jun 20, 2023, 9:30 PM | Updated: Jun 21, 2023, 12:48 pm

Fire danger is on the rise across the state, thanks to the wind blowing and drying things out. Wind...

FILE: A wildfire burning near the Saltair Marina in Magna. Smoke from wildfires has caused health-related issues to increase by 66 percent over the last decade. (Utah Fire Info)

(Utah Fire Info)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fire danger is on the rise across the state, thanks to the wind blowing and drying things out.

Windy days increase fire danger, carrying heat and embers that easily ignite the surrounding area.

Fire Prevention Specialist Paula Imlay with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands says the wind is a huge determining factor during fire season.

“They can order aircrafts to dump retardant on [a fire], but then again … that aircraft’s up in the air … the wind is just going to take that retardant and blow it not where they want it,” she says. “So the wind, really, determines a lot of the fire behavior.”

Along with this, Imlay says the wind quickly picks up embers helping fires spread.

“[The wind] is going to blow the embers miles away from where the actual fire started,” she says. “So then you run the risk of fires that are torquing and spotting ahead of the fire. And, (we) can’t put … firefighters on the ground ahead of an active fire.”

Additionally, Imlay says with winds over 25 mph and humidity below 20% in the southern half of the state, fire danger increases.

According to Imlay, Utah has had a slow start to the fire season this year thanks to all of the moisture. However, with winds drying the environment out, it could pick up very soon.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

Related stories

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Senator Mitt Romney addresses ongoing drought conditions in Utah during a Budget Committee hearing ...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Senator Mitt Romney says we should be doing more to combat drought

Senator Mitt Romney is taking a look at how money is being spent on drought-related issues and pushing for more collaboration on the subject.

9 hours ago

A mountain lion shows its teeth, a sign of aggression....

Mariah Maynes

What do you do if you encounter a mountain lion?

As more people begin to participate in summer recreation activities, the DWR provided tips for preventing and surviving mountain lion encounters.

18 hours ago

David Gordon of North Ogden starts to flip off his innertube on the Weber River near Henefer on Thu...

Mariah Maynes

DWR partners with concessionaire to manage popular Weber River tubing area

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said that it has partnered with a private concessionaire to manage a popular tubing area.

3 days ago

Fresh snow covers slopes at Snowbird, a body was found at snowbird on monday...

Mariah Maynes

Body of missing skier found at Snowbird

Authorities said that they found a body at Snowbird Ski Resort after they received a call about an overdue skier.

3 days ago

Rural wildlife firefighters, "Hot Shots"...

Michael Camit

Utah is struggling to retain its rural ‘Hotshots’

Filling jobs of rural wildlife firefighters can be difficult due to the cost of living according to the Utah Division of Forestry, Fires and State Lands.

3 days ago

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased ...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Summit County to acquire largest open space in its history for $55 million

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased after grant funding is made available in 2025.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Strong winds increasing fire danger in Utah