WILDFIRE

Utah governor, fire officials ask Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously

Jun 10, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 10:53 am

Gov. Cox urged Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously at a Fire Sense press conference Monday, Ju...

Gov. Cox urged Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously at a Fire Sense press conference Monday, June 10. (Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

(Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter snow could spell disaster for the upcoming wildfire season. You can still see some of that snow on our mountaintops. 

All that snow (when it turns to water) has made the grass and sagebrush grow. And now the hot temperatures are drying everything out quickly —  much earlier than normal. 

“It’s perfect for wildfires to start and to thrive,” Gov. Spencer Cox said at a Fire Sense press conference held at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. 

Utahns have a choice when it comes to wildfire this summer, says governor

The governor stood alongside dozens of wildland firefighters hoping to make one thing clear: Utah can have a great summer without wildfires, or Utah can have a challenging summer with wildfires. 

 

“We definitely need people to step up,” Cox said. “Mostly I ask that you keep these guys safe. We want every one of them to go home to their families. And so let’s be smart about what we’re doing and let’s keep Utah safe this summer.” 

Firefighter lives are also at risk

State Fire Management Officer for the Bureau of Land Management, Chris Delaney, echoed the same concern for the firefighters who work in Utah.

“Every human-caused fire that we prevent is one less fire that our folks have to go out and risk their lives trying to extinguish to protect the citizens of Utah, along with these beautiful lands,” Delaney said. 

He went on to say that he’s seeing more fuel that is ready to burn right now than he’s seen in a long time. 

“We’re seeing conditions that line up with seasons where we’ve lost homes, we’ve seen people killed,” Delaney said. “And I think that at the end of the day, we would ask everyone to take it as seriously as possible.” 

The governor asked people to check wildfire conditions before heading into the great outdoors.

Related: Utah is struggling to retain its rural ‘Hotshots’

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Utah governor, fire officials ask Utahns to take wildfire safety seriously