Utah receives more federal wildfire prevention funding

May 16, 2024, 4:00 PM

fire moab...

Pack Creek Fire south of Moab. (Utah Fire Info)

(Utah Fire Info)

SALT LAKE CITY — Three Utah organizations will receive more than $5.5 million in combined funds for wildfire prevention and defense. The money will help them defend against catastrophic wildfires.

Karl Hunt, the spokesperson for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, said most of the federal grant money will fund a prevention project in Moab.

The project will add more fuel breaks to areas of Moab. According to the National Resources Conservation Service, a fuel break is an area where vegetation and debris have been removed. The goal is to prevent fire from spreading.

Related: SLCFD is preparing now for potential wildfires in the future

“When a wildfire does impact that area, (fuel breaks will) slow it down and crews (will be) able to catch it and keep it as minimal as possible,” said Hunt.

Investing in wildfire prevention and defense ahead of time can save money down the road, according to Hunt.

“We like to look at this as a smaller investment that’s going to pay dividends in the future.”

Money not only going to wildfire prevention in Moab

The money will not only go to Moab. Hunt said that a small portion will also go to the Salt Lake City Fire Department and the Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe.

The money will help both organizations update their community fire plans.

This is the second year in a row that Utah has received federal funds for wildfire prevention. The funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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Utah receives more federal wildfire prevention funding