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As Fire Season Ramps Up, Gov. Herbert Announces Fireworks Ban On State Lands

Utah Wildfire Info / Twitter
The Rough Canyon Fire burning near Portage, Utah, June 27,2018.

As wildfires burned throughout Utah Thursday morning, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a ban on open fires and fireworks on all state-owned land.

Herbert also urged recreators to exercise caution in the hot, dry conditions.

“Let’s be careful where we build campfires. Let’s be careful with our fireworks,” Herbert said at his monthly KUED news conference. “Most of the fires we see started — historically — have been man-caused.”

Firefighters are currently battling nine blazes throughout the state. They range in size from 20 acres to the 4,000-acre Black Mountain Fire south of Beaver in southwestern Utah, which was sparked Thursday and quickly grew. A portion of Highway 130 north of Cedar City was closed Thursday.

The 3,000-acre Rough Canyon Fire, burning just a few miles from Portage, near the Utah-Idaho border, is believed to be human-caused.

The Utah Legislature passed a law earlier this year that restricts the number of days fireworks are allowed to be set off. In areas where fireworks are allowed, they can only legally be set off July 2-5 and July 22-25. The law also extended new powers for cities to enact restrictions based on fire hazards.

In addition, numerous cities and counties have their own firework restrictions in place ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Fireworks, open fires and other explosives, including exploding targets, are also banned on federally-owned BLM lands throughout Utah.

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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