Fire restrictions begin for northern Utah public lands to prevent wildfires

Restrictions will help protect public lands, communities, and visitors

SALT LAKE CITY —The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has implemented stage 2 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 Cache, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch, and Weber counties. Currently all BLM public lands in Utah, except for the Vernal Field Office have implemented stage 2 fire restrictions. 

These fire restrictions will include multiple measures to help BLM public lands safe and accessible as the risk of human-caused wildfires increases. “Human-caused fires remain the biggest threat to public lands. While we have not seen recent catastrophic wildfires on BLM public lands, all it takes is one spark,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “The best way for the public to help protect resources, communities, and our firefighters is to follow the restrictions. You know the fire drill, please use Fire Sense.”

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.

“Utah’s fire season started in January, and a year-round fire season has become the norm, and not the exception,” said BLM Utah State Fire Management Officer Chris Delaney. “This is the earliest that we have entered into National Wildfire Preparedness Level 5 in the last 10 years, and we do not have the resources to maintain this level of deployment on fire incidents—we need the public’s help.” 

“We want the public to continue enjoying BLM’s public lands, but disregarding fire restrictions can quickly turn a camping trip into a tragedy,” said West Desert District Manager Mike Gates. “Camp stoves and grills with a shut off valve can be used, but campfires are strictly banned at this time.”

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.

Restrictions include:

  • No open fires of any kind (compressed or liquid gas grills, stoves, and pellet fed smokers are allowed with at least three feet of clearance of flammable materials.)
  • Smoking cigarettes, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation site or while stopped in a cleared area of at least three feet in diameter that is barren and cleared of all flammable material.
  • Grinding, cutting, and welding of metal.
  • Operating a chainsaw, or other internal combustion engine without a properly installed USDA or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) approved spark arresting device.
  • Use of any steel core, jacketed, and tipped ammunition of any caliber. 
  • Use of any tracer or incendiary ammunition of any caliber.
  • Use of any kind of explosives, incendiary or chemical devices, pyrotechnics or fireworks, or exploding targets.
  • Use of any Sky Lanterns, Chinese Lanterns, Fire Balloons, Acetylene Balloons or similar device.
  • Use of any Off Road Vehicle (ORV) that is not equipped with a properly installed and maintained spark arrestor. Spark arresters shall meet the 80 percent efficiency level standard when determined by the appropriate SAE recommended practices J335 and J350. (Title 43 CFR § 8343.1).

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/xF4YC. 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/.

For more information on preventing unwanted human caused wildfires, visit www.utahfiresense.org, www.utahfireinfo.gov or on Twitter @UtahWildfire.

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date

Organization

Bureau of Land Management

Office

West Desert District Office

Contacts

Name:
Kimberly Finch