Fire managers lift fire restrictions for national parks, monuments, Dixie National Forest

A firefighter uses a backpack pump to spray water on a hotspot in the Clear Creek area above Panguitch Lake, Garfield County, Utah, July 1, 2017 | Photo courtesy Color Country Interagency Fire Center, Cedar City News / St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Fire restrictions in Southern Utah’s national parks and monuments and the Dixie National Forest are being rescinded Saturday thanks to the wet weather that has been rolling though the region.

“Recent precipitation and higher relative humidity resulting in higher fuel moistures, lowering the fire hazard and reducing fire danger” for areas overseen by National Park Service and Dixie National Forest managers, Color County Interagency Fire Center officials said in a news release Friday.

“Fire Managers continually evaluate conditions for the need for fire restrictions. Please verify with your local land management agency before conducting any fire related activity in question.” the news release states.

Fire restrictions were also recently rescinded in the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests in Arizona.

Autumn in the Dixie National Forest, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy Dixie National Forest, St. George News

Fire restrictions have been lifted for:

  • National Park Service (Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks; Cedar Breaks, Pipe Spring and Rainbow Bridge national monuments; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area).
  • Dixie National Forest (Pine Valley, Cedar City, Powell and Escalante ranger districts, including Oak Grove Campground and road access).

Fire restrictions remain in effect for the restricted lands in Washington, Iron, Beaver, Kane and Garfield counties. These restricted lands include:

  • Unincorporated privately owned and all state administered lands (Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands).
  • Bureau of Land Management (Utah).
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (Trust lands of the Shivwits, Cedar, Indian Peaks, and Kaibab band reservations).

Incorporated towns and cities are not included in these restrictions. Please contact your local fire department for municipal restrictions.

The following describe restrictions that remain in place for areas covered by the BLM’s Color Country District and the state of Utah/private unincorporated lands:

  • Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire, including charcoal and briquettes, outside a fire structure provided by the agency within a designated area is prohibited.
  • All developed recreation sites, campgrounds, picnic areas and home sites that are maintained and administered by the agency, or home sites where running water is present, are allowed. Stoves or grills that are fueled solely by liquid petroleum fuels are also allowed. Campfires and charcoal fires are allowed in Lava Point Campground.
  • When using a portable stove, make sure the area is clear of grasses and other fine fuels. Prevent stoves from tipping and starting a fire.
  • The use of tracer ammunition, explosives, fireworks or any incendiary devices (including explosive targets) and the use of explosives, flares or other incendiary devices are always prohibited year-round on federal and state lands.

    Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder watches the smoke rise from the Oak Grove Fire in the Dixie National Forest, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
  • 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, or SAE, recommended practices J335 and J350, is prohibited.
    • Parking a vehicle over dead grass is not recommended as the catalytic converter can ignite the vegetation.
  • Cutting, welding, or grinding of metal in areas of dry vegetation is prohibited.
  • Smoking is prohibited except in an enclosed vehicle or building or a developed recreation site or areas with a minimum of three feet in diameter clearance down to mineral soil. Cigarettes should never be thrown out the window of a vehicle. Instead, ashtrays should be used in order to prevent wildfires.

Violation of restrictions on federal lands is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by fine, imprisonment or both.

Violators also may be held personally responsible for reimbursement of fire suppression costs.

It should be noted that abandoned campfires that aren’t completely extinguished are also a concern for fire officials in Utah.

Improperly extinguished campfires can flare up once more, and with no one around to put it out a second time they can get out of control. Campfires, even if they appear to be out, should be cold to the touch before leaving them – stir the dirt with water until it is cold.

The Color Country Interagency Fire Center is made up of local, state and federal fire and land agencies that cover the five-county region (Washington, Iron, Kane, Garfield and Beaver counties) and the Arizona Strip.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • utahdiablo July 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Now you can all fire off your fireworks….must still be a few more acres you can burn down before the end of summer

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