Campfires are an iconic part of summer camping, but with fire restrictions still in place throughout Utah, they may not be the best addition to your next outing.
August is the second-highest month for human-caused wildfires, according to Kimberly Finch with the Bureau of Land Management. When it comes to human-caused fires, Finch said campfires are the second-highest cause.
Restrictions have been placed throughout the state to help alleviate the potential of campfires become more widespread. Although Utah has received enough rain to cause flooding in parts of the state, it hasn’t been enough water to end campfire restrictions.
“We still are in the drought throughout the state," said Finch. "But because we are in the arid west, it can dry up pretty quickly and that vegetation can still be a tinderbox. So even though we may change the restrictions, we still want people to use common sense.”
Cache, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch, and Weber counties are currently in stage two restrictions which means no campfires are allowed at all, even in fire rings. However, Finch noted there are still ways campers can cook while out in nature with camp stoves or other cooking devices that have an on off switch and a contained flame.
Other areas of the state are in stage one restrictions, meaning people can have fires in permanent campfire strictures.
“They need to be within a designated recreation area. Permanently constructed- so a person couldn't go out and build a rock ring or, you know, just bring a grill out into the brush and create a fire there,” said Finch.