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New Utah Fire Restrictions For Public Lands

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — With dangerous fire conditions across the state, Utah is issuing increased fire restrictions for all state lands and private lands outside of city or town borders. 

The Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said in a press release it is enacting stage 1 fire restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. June 10th. Those restrictions will include limits to where open fires are allowed, and put constraints on other activities, including welding, cutting metal, and smoking.  

DNR says the reason for the new restrictions on open fires and other activities is because of record fuel, low moisture, widespread drought conditions and extreme fire danger. 

“As we’ve seen these most recent wildfires, it is clear that fire danger is higher than in any year in recent memory,” Interim Division Director, Jamie Barnes, said in a statement released by DWR Tuesday. “Although it’s unprecedented and comes earlier than any time in the past several years, it’s absolutely necessary now because current conditions are more indicative of what we’d see during late summer months.” 

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions 

State 1 Fire Restrictions apply to all state lands and all unincorporated private lands within the state of Utah. This order does not affect private lands within incorporated towns or city limits. 

Here’s a closer look at what is now restricted:  

  • Open fires are not permitted on public lands, except within established facilities in improved campgrounds or day-use areas.  
  • At unincorporated, private dwellings served by pressurized running water, open fires are not permitted in constructed fire pits. 
  • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area that is paved or free from dry vegetation. 
  • Cutting, welding, or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation is banned. 
  • Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor is prohibited. 

DNR says anyone who violates these regulations could face up to six months in jail and face a fine up to $1,000. 

Other Restrictions

The increased restrictions come the day after a ban on fireworks was issued for all state-owned lands and all unincorporated private lands. 

Also on Wednesday, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced campfires and target shooting with a firearm will be temporarily banned due to wildfire risks.

Officials said the ban is effective immediately on the 146 wildlife management areas (WMAs) across the state.

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