Recently launched ‘Fire Sense’ campaign especially timely leading up to Memorial Day weekend

Composite image. Background photo shows the scene of a fire involving outbuildings in Ivins, Utah, May 19, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Corey Kealiher, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The state of Utah and Bureau of Land Management Utah recently launched a new fire prevention program, and with Memorial Day weekend approaching, both agencies are asking the public to recreate responsibly and be mindful of the potential for wildfires as extremely dry conditions persist across the state.

Stock image | Photo by Arseniy45/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

A press release issued by the BLM notes that public lands provide excellent opportunities for visitors to enjoy America’s open spaces – and over Memorial Day, these spaces may be used to reflect on the sacrifices made by the United States Armed Services veterans who died serving the country.

According to the press release, over the last 10 years, wildfire activity has been some of the most catastrophic in U.S. history.

In 2020, more than 10.1 million acres burned throughout the country, which set a record for acres burned since accurate recording and data gathering began, and locally, many officials have expressed concern about the current drought status in the state.

On May 18, the BLM Utah state director signed a Fire Prevention Order for the entire state. Color Country District Manager Gloria Tibbetts also issued an order specific to Washington, Iron Beaver, Kane and Garfield counties, On Wednesday, 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.

In this file photo, embers fly across a roadway as a wildfire rages in California, Sept. 9, 2020 | Associated Press photo by Noah Berger, St. George News

“On Memorial Day, we take time to remember and honor those men and women who gave their lives to protect our nation and the values we hold dear,” Greg Sheehan, state director, said in the press release. “If you do choose to get outside on your public lands over the weekend, please celebrate responsibly and use Fire Sense to help prevent wildfires.”

Because the safety of employees and the public remains paramount, the BLM reminds visitors to recreate responsibly and safely not only on Memorial Day weekend but throughout the remainder of the year by following the following recreation tips:

  • No open fires of any kind except within established public facilities in improved campgrounds or picnic areas.
  • Park away from and not on dry grass.
  • Ensure tow chains are not dragging and tow straps are secured.
  • Observe fire danger restrictions on BLM lands designated as high-risk early in this fire season.
  • Ensure spark arresting devices are properly installed and maintained on all internal combustion engines.
  • Fireworks and exploding targets cannot be used on public lands. Follow fireworks restrictions and target shooting requirements. A listing of fire restrictions throughout BLM Utah is available online.

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