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AM News Brief: Hill AFB Exercises, Sugar Beet Industry & Jamie Redford Dies At 58

Utah Air Force Prescribed Burn Wildfire Management.jpg
SSgt Timothy Chacon/U.S. Air Force
/
U.S. Department of Defense
Hill Air Force base will be conducting a prescribed burn at its testing range — located along I-80 between Wendover and Tooele until Oct. 23.

Tuesday morning, October 20, 2020

Northern Utah

Hill AFB Burns And Exercises

Hill Air Force base will be conducting a prescribed burn at its testing range — located along I-80 between Wendover and Tooele until Oct. 23. Officials said the burn area is about 500 acres and it is being done to remove cheatgrass, tumbleweed and other invasive species. It will also help reduce fire fuels and be reseeded with more fire-resistant vegetation. There will also be increased overnight activity this week as a number of flights are scheduled to leave after midnight to help with off station military exercises. The planes which left last Monday night and returned early Tuesday. They will again on Thursday night and return Friday morning. — Darienne DeBrule

Study Finds Park City Is Top Choice For Remote Workers

Americans are relocating during the pandemic as they realize they can work remotely. In a recent Airbnb survey, four of the top six relocation choices are in the Mountain West. The study found that Gen Z’ers and young millennials want to move small to mid-size cities with access to natural surroundings and wide open spaces. Boise, Idaho was one of the top relocation choices. But that city is currently experiencing a surge of covid cases like many other areas in our region and the public health department there said newcomers need to be aware of that. They also need to follow public health guidelines so they don’t contribute to community spread. Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Sante Fe, New Mexico were also on top of the relocation list with Park City, Utah as the number one choice. — Kamila Kudelska, Mountain West News Bureau

Southern Utah

Head Injury Left Hiker Disoriented In Zion

Holly Suzanne Courtier, who was found alive inside park boundaries at Zion National Park after a 12-day search, reportedly hit her head early in her hike and was disoriented. Search & rescue crews found the 38-year-old on Sunday in thick vegetation along the Virgin River after park rangers were tipped that she was seen in the park. Courtier's daughter, Kailey Chambers, told CNN that her mother hit her head on a tree early in the hike. She was near the river and decided to stay put next to a water source. Courtier was reunited with her family, who took her to a hospital to recover from dehydration and weakness. — Diane Maggipinto

Region And Beyond

COVID-19 Impact On Sugar Beet Industry

The sugar beet harvest is underway across the Mountain West. It’s a big industry that depends on accurate weather forecasts and a reliable workforce — both impacted by COVID-19. Farmer’s have been struggling with a labor shortage in factories and for transportation. And, sugar beets need to be harvested and stored at the right temperature. Success hinges on how farmers react to weather forecasts. In a normal year, forecasters get around 200,000 observations a day from passenger planes, but with air travel down significantly, there’s less valuable data to work with. — Beau Baker, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo Nation COVID-19 Update

Navajo Nation health officials have confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death on the reservation. That brings the total number of positives to just under 11,000 and the known death count to 574. A shelter-in-place order, mask mandate, daily curfews and weekend lockdowns remain in place on the Navajo Nation. — Associated Press

Filmmaker And Activist James Redford Dies

James “Jamie” Redford, filmmaker and activist, has died. He was 58 years old and the son of actor Robert Redford. The elder Redford's publicist said in a statement Monday that the father is mourning with his family during this "difficult time." Jamie Redford's wife Kyle confirmed in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune that her husband died Friday from bile-duct cancer in his liver. He had battled liver disease for more than 30 years. Kyle said it had returned two years ago and the cancer was discovered in his bile duct last November while he awaited a liver transplant. — Associated Press