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Photo of a wildland firefighter.
Utah Fire Info

Utah’s official fire season runs from June 1 to October 31. Here’s a round-up of helpful information to guide you through it.

Photo of Parleys Fire.
Utah Fire Info via Twitter

The Parleys Fire started Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6:15 p.m. Officials believe it was sparked by a dump truck that was dragging chains eastbound on I-80. The fire has forced evacuations and highway closures in both directions. Though originally estimated at over 200 acres, mapping on Friday morning found that 80 acres are burning in Parleys Canyon.

Photo of two teachers at a rally.
Jon Reed / KUER

Last year, Steven Phelps taught math at Lakeridge Junior High in the Alpine District. But once he saw his district’s plan to return to in-person classes five days a week, plus a roster of 36 kids and little ability to keep them six feet apart, he and his wife decided he was better off leaving. 

Photo of a person standing at the edge of a grassy hill.
Jon Reed / KUER

It’s perhaps a familiar sight to anyone who regularly drives the I-15 corridor past Point of the Mountain at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. Brightly-colored, U-shaped wings float peacefully above the foothills, two thousand feet above the highway. 

Utah Highway Patrol Troopers in Salt Lake's Rio Grande neighborhood in 2018.
Whittney Evans / KUER

The state of Utah, Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City launched Operation Rio Grande as an effort to address homelessness and crime in a downtown Salt Lake City neighborhood where The Road Home shelter used to be. 

Utah lawmakers received an update on the initiative Thursday during a meeting of the Legislature’s Criminal Code Evaluation Task Force.

Photo of police officers and men in camouflage outfitted with riot gear. There are tan military vehicles and a police cruiser in the background.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Some Utah state lawmakers are questioning whether suggestions to restrict when law enforcement can use deadly force could put those officers in more danger. 

Photo of a University of Utah patrol car
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

A report released Wednesday by the Utah Department of Public Safety found that a University of Utah police officer showed explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey to colleagues and that some officers made inappropriate comments about them. 

Aerial view of St. George, Utah.
alpenarts / iStock.com

Ironman triathlons have been canceled or postponed since March and St. George could be one of the first cities in North America to host the race since the start of the pandemic. 

Photo of a pumpjack in a valley with mountains behind it.
Bureau of Land Management / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmental groups are suing a Utah state board that distributes oil and mining royalties to communities impacted by natural resource extraction. The lawsuit, brought by Living Rivers and the Center for Biological Diversity, involves a proposed railroad that could increase oil production in the Uinta Basin. 

Cottonwood Heights City Council work session
Emily Means/ KUER

During the Cottonwood Heights city council’s work session Tuesday night, Councilmember Tali Bruce requested the city adopt a policy that mirrors one recently announced in Salt Lake City, where officers will be disciplined if they don’t turn on their body cams. 

Photo of students in masks taking a test.
arrowsmith2 / iStock.com

Utah has long struggled with large class sizes, which can be difficult for teachers to manage and students to stay engaged. But during the coronavirus pandemic, where keeping people apart remains the primary method of preventing the disease from spreading, schools face even greater challenges ensuring students and teachers can stay safely distanced.

Emily Means / KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has something in common with community members who have taken to the streets over the past couple of months.

Photo of a SNAP sign in a grocery story window.
jetcityimage / iStock.com

Families of K-12 students in Utah are now able to receive federal assistance for school meals they missed when buildings closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo of U.S. Capitol under blue sky.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

After failing to get additional funding for special education in Utah earlier this year, a state lawmaker is trying again. 

Photo of children playing on a splash pad outside
Lexi Peery / KUER

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and advisories for most of Utah — triple digits temperatures are expected through the weekend. 

Two women hold cucumbers
Kate Groetzinger/ KUER News

The Navajo Nation has reported fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 each day for over a month, a sign that the pandemic may be letting up there. But life on the reservation has not begun to return to normal as quickly as in surrounding states. 

Photo of a room with a bed
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah’s juvenile justice system has come a long way since 2016, when a state analysis found it was locking up most minors for low-level offenses and keeping them in detention for too long.

Photo of a hand holding a white envelope with instructions on how to return a mail-in ballot.
Renee Bright / KUER

Several members of Utah’s Congressional delegation along with Gov. Gary Herbert, have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s call to delay the November election. 

Photo overlooking houses
KUER File

Almost 60% of Iron County residents have completed the U.S. Census, but according to census tract data, less than a quarter of residents in the eastern parts of the county have done it.

Illustration of a hand putting a ballot in a mailbox.
Renee Bright / KUER

Black conservatives in Utah say there’s more than one way to fight for racial justice. While the liberal demand to defund the police has become a rallying cry in many recent protests in Salt Lake City and around the nation, they’re taking a different tact. 

Photo of houses from the view of a street in Salt Lake City
Emily Means / KUER

Utah’s housing advocates are gearing up for a rise in evictions with the end of two federal pandemic assistance programs last week. 

Photo of a man standing outside wearing a mask
Courtesy of Linda Hart

With big crews and lots of moving parts, it can be hard to maintain social distance on a film set. Because of that, film production has been one of the hardest hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the slowest to return. But over the last few months, in Utah, it’s begun to show signs of life.

Photo illustration showing an open envelope with a note in side that says overdue
agil73 via iStock

Alexandria Taylor has three daughters, all under the age of 15. She and her children, along with her husband, were all infected with COVID-19. She said it shut down their lives for almost two months. 

Photo of two grey portable bathrooms surrounded by a chain link fence in a parking lot. Smith's Ballpark is across the street in the background.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Two portable restrooms opened Monday for people experiencing homelessness across the street from Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. 

Two tourists window shop on Main Street in Moab.
discopalace via Creative Commons

Over a quarter of Grand County workers lost their jobs this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to unemployment claims filed in April. But many county residents went back to work when tourists returned to Moab, and the need for food and housing assistance has declined. 

Desolation Canyon
Adam Swisher, National Outdoor Leadership School

Environmentalists in Utah examined how conservation and social justice issues impact each other during Latino Conservation Week, which wrapped up Sunday. 

Photo of grocery basket with a sign that says "stay home, we deliver."
iStock.com/svetikd

Most of Utah is in the low-risk phase of the state’s coronavirus pandemic response, and people are venturing out more. Dining in at restaurants, working out at gyms and group gatherings are all allowed under those limited restrictions.

Multi-story, tan brick school building with large windows.
Courtesy Logan City School District

With the start of a new school year less than a month away for some of Utah’s public schools, most have at least a rough plan for what their returns will look like. 

Photo of a man outdoors wearing a hat and holding a small frog
Courtesy of Robin Goodman with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

A veteran of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will take over the state’s Bureau of Land Management next month. Greg Sheehan directed DWR for five years, before Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke tapped him to lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2017. He left that post a year later, after the Service suggested a rollback of the Endangered Species Act

Photo of downtown Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Utahns have been encouraged to stay safe by staying home. But for people who don’t have a home, that can be an impossible task. 

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