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Several Utah counties placed under new fire restrictions

Matt Palmer

Several Utah counties have been placed under fire restriction with many state officials bracing for a potentially wildfire-heavy summer.

According to the head of Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands, 195 wildfires have been recorded so far this year and over 1,000 acres have been burned as a result. An improvement over last year’s statistics, but things could get worse as we move into the summer months.

Garfield, Washington, Kane, and Iron counties have been placed under “Stage 1” fire restrictions, meaning that fires outside of designated areas, exploding targets, and even welding have all been prohibited. Operating motorcycles, chainsaws, and other usages of small internal combustion engines have been prohibited as well.

San Juan and Grand counties are being placed under “Stage 2” restrictions. Stage 2 includes everything prohibited in Stage 1, but fires in designated areas have also been prohibited.

Jamie Barnes, the agency’s executive director, says that the majority of wildfires have been caused by humans. As Utah moves closer to the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day, the agency is pleading with people to avoid starting fires at all costs.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.