Fire restrictions begin for all BLM Utah public lands
Restrictions will help protect public lands, communities, and visitors
SALT LAKE CITY — Beginning June 16 at 12:01 a.m., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will implement fire restrictions to prevent losses from human-caused wildfires brought on by extreme drought, high fire danger conditions, and the increased use of public lands in Juab, Millard, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne and Piute counties. On June 18 at 12:01 a.m., all remaining BLM Utah managed lands will enter restrictions.
These fire restrictions will include multiple measures to help keep public lands safe and accessible as the risk of human-caused wildfires increases. Restrictions will also continue for BLM-managed public lands within Washington, Kane, Garfield, Iron and Beaver counties.
“Given the extreme drought conditions human-caused fires are the biggest threat to public lands right now, which makes using Fire Sense critical to our communities and businesses that rely on public lands,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “If we use Fire Sense and stop human-caused fires before they start, we can help our communities, we can enjoy public lands, and we can save precious fire fighting resources and water needed to fight those fires. The best way for you to help is to follow the restrictions. You know the fire drill.”
The phrase “you know the fire drill” is central to Utah’s new Fire Sense campaign, focused on common-sense practices to help prevent human-caused wildfires. On May 26, the state of Utah and the BLM launched “Fire Sense” – an interagency fire prevention campaign created to encourage and inform people on how they can change behaviors to prevent wildfires in Utah.
“We realize how dry it is out there and can see how the lack of moisture, combined with the heat and high winds, is a source of potential hazards when it comes to human-caused wildfires. Utah is our home and new fires in Utah are already causing road closures and evacuations,” said BLM Utah State Fire Management Officer Chris Delaney. “We need everyone to use Fire Sense to help prevent devastating consequences to resources and communities. Firefighters have risked their lives on hundreds of preventable, human-caused wildfires this year.”
“A lot of Fire Sense is common sense. Always stay with your campfire and make sure it is out when you are done. Secure your chains and tow straps, so they don’t drag on the ground and cause sparks,” said Canyon Country District Manager Gary Torres.
“We are keeping public lands accessible by using basic Fire Sense. Preventing fires helps prevent damages to the natural resources we use for outdoor recreation activities, like camping, mountain biking and riding OHVs,” said Richfield Field Manager Joelle McCarthy. “If we follow these fire restrictions, we stand a chance, during this drought, at reducing the potential loss of wildlife habitat and forage while managing outdoor recreation.”
Across Utah this year as of mid-June 90% or 294 out of 326 wildfires have been human-caused. Nearly 300 fires could have been prevented and have put firefighters, public lands, and communities in danger. Among the most important restrictions to follow includes campfires. The BLM allows campfires in permanently constructed cement or metal fire pits provided in agency-developed campground and picnic areas. When people use those fire pits, they also need to use some Fire Sense (visit UtahFireSense.org). Keep fires to a manageable size. Never leave a fire unattended. Have adequate water available and extinguish campfires using the Drown, Stir and Feel method. Devices fueled by petroleum or liquid petroleum gas with a shut-off valve are allowed in all locations.
Recreational target shooters should be aware of current weather and fuel (vegetation) conditions, especially Red Flag Warnings. Use safe ammunition and targets and find an appropriate backdrop void of rocks and vegetation. Have a shovel and water or a fire extinguisher and only shoot in areas where legally allowed.
- No campfires using charcoal, solid fuel or any ash-producing fuel, except in permanently constructed cement or metal fire pits located in agency-developed campgrounds and picnic areas. Examples of solid fuels include but are not limited to wood, charcoal, peat, coal, Hexamine fuel tablets, wood pellets, corn, wheat, rye, and other grains.
- No grinding, cutting and welding of metal.
- No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle, covered areas, developed recreation site or while stopped in a cleared area of at least three feet in diameter (10 feet in areas managed by the Moab and Monticello field offices) that is barren with no flammable vegetation.
- No operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order as determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practices J335 and J350. Refer to Title 43 CFR 8343.1.
- The non-commercial use/discharge of explosives of any kind, incendiary or chemical devices, pyrotechnic devices, exploding targets, pressurized containers or canisters, and binary explosives.
- The use/discharge of any kind of fireworks as defined by this order.
The BLM fire prevention orders that outline fire restrictions can also be found at https://utahfireinfo.gov/active-fire-restriction-documents/ or at https://go.usa.gov/xGnDx. Restrictions of specific activities will remain in place until human caused fires and fire dangers decrease.
On May 18, the Utah State Director signed a Fire Prevention Order, which can be found at the BLM Utah Fire and Aviation webpage: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/utah and the Utah Fire Info webpage: https://utahfireinfo.gov/.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.