WILDFIRE

Utah is seeing more blazes, many are human-caused wildfires

Jun 25, 2024, 4:00 PM

The Little Twist fire, a human-caused wildfire, which has been burning for more than a week, has gr...

The Little Twist wildfire, which has been burning for more than a week, has grown to 2,398 acres, and is 10% contained. (Utah Fire Info)

(Utah Fire Info)

SALT LAKE CITY –  According to the U.S. Forest Service, 330 fires have already scorched areas of Utah this season. According to the National Park Service, roughly 86% of the blazes recorded nationally each year are human-caused wildfires. 

At this time last year, only 155 had been reported. The five-year wildfire average for Utah is 1,082. 

Related: Prevent your campfire from turning wild

Cars and human-caused wildfires 

There are several ways that human-caused wildfires begin. 

Rogue campfires are a commonly mentioned example, however, poorly maintained vehicles are another common culprit. 

According to the Bureau of Land Management, vehicles can emit sparks, specifically if they are poorly maintained. Before you take them into areas where a spark could ignite a fire, make sure they are up to date on mechanical maintenance. 

Additionally, do not park or drive over dry grass, especially when you are off-roading. Per the BLM, the exhaust pipe of off-road vehicles can reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On the topic of vehicles, Utah Fire Sense also said that dragging chains can emit sparks. If they find their way into dry plants on the side of a road, a wildfire can ignite. 

Other sparks can cause danger

The NPS said that incorrectly discarded cigarettes are another common cause of wildfire.

The United States Fire Administration said that cigarettes should always be put out in an ashtray or bucket of sand. Never flick them into dry plants. 

Related: Zion National Park to introduce campfire and smoking restrictions

Fireworks are another common cause of wildfire, especially around the 4th and 24th of July holidays. 

The BLM said you should always check the fireworks regulations for the area you wish to set them off in. Do not light them near dry plants. 

Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Never re-ignite them, even if they do not work. Make sure you have plenty of water to douse them in after they are finished. 

Finally, dispose of your fireworks by soaking them in water. 

If you witness a wildfire, you can report it by dialing 911 or contacting an Interagency Fire Dispatch Center. 

We want to hear from you.

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Utah is seeing more blazes, many are human-caused wildfires