West Desert District & Salt Lake Field Office Sign with a building and parking lot.

West Desert District Office

Located in the northwestern Utah, the 7.7 million-acre West Desert District is uniquely different from any other part of the state. Much of this area is a part of the Great Basin region, a place of isolated mountain ranges separated by desert playas and wide-sweeping sagebrush flats. With few amenities, the desert provides a place of solitude and an escape from the urban lifestyle. The West Desert District consists of the Salt Lake Field Office and Fillmore Field Office.

The West Desert District epitomizes the BLM’s recreation mission to provide backyard to backcountry access. The District is home to 2.6 million Utah citizens, nearly 86% of the state’s population. Population growth and the wildland urban interface challenge the BLM with complex management situations.

Fire Program

BLM-Utah is divided into five fire zones, with the West Desert Fire, Fuels, and Aviation Program being the largest and most complex organization in the state. The program is supported by two different dispatch centers - the Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center in the north and the Richfield Interagency Fire Center in the southern end of the district. The program is challenged not only by 7.7 million acres of public land to protect, but also by the growing wildland-urban interface. 

“Approximately 86 percent of Utah’s population lives within the West Desert District,” said Michael Gates, BLM West Desert District Manager. “Rapid expansion of our urban areas has increased our wildland urban interface, thereby increasing the potential for wildfire to impact communities. Wildfire prevention should be a top priority for all Utahns to ensure the protection of human lives, property, resources and the landscapes we love in this great state.”  

The BLM partners with federal and state agencies to share fire prevention messaging and provide rapid and well-organized response to wildland fires. If you are interested in a career in wildland fire, please visit our Fire Careers Webpage.  
To prevent a wildfire, the public should:  
  • Fully extinguish campfires and avoid building fires when winds are 15 mph or higher  
  • Choose a target shooting backstop free of rocks and dry grass – any bullet hitting rocks can create a spark.   
  • Avoid target shooting in during hot, dry and windy conditions  
  • Know the laws and regulations per county that prohibit the use of fireworks, paper lanterns, exploding targets, and other incendiary devices. They are prohibited year-round on BLM lands.  
  • Seasonal Fire Prevention Orders and Fire Restrictions come in effect when conditions warrant such actions. Stay up-to-date on local orders and restrictions.  
  • Avoid cutting, welding or grinding of metal in areas of dry vegetation  
  • Check to make sure trailer chains are not dragging and are secure to prevent sparks  
  • Fully extinguish and properly dispose of cigarettes  
  • Avoid parking a hot vehicle over dry grass  
  • Maintain tires, wheels and bearing on trailers to prevent mechanical failure   
  • Public land visitors are also reminded to be prepared with a shovel, water and fire extinguisher. 
  • If you start a wildfire or see a wildfire start, please call 9-1-1. Fire officials will respond with the goal of full suppression.   



Michael Gates

District Manager

Jessica Wade

Salt Lake Field Office Manager

Cindy Ledbetter

Fillmore Field Office Manager