2019 Utah Wildfires: The Latest On Fires Burning Across The State | KUER 90.1

2019 Utah Wildfires: The Latest On Fires Burning Across The State

Sep 26, 2019

Updated 5:30 p.m. MDT 9/26/19:

Southwest Utah fire managers lifted restrictions in Washington, Kane, Beaver and Iron Counties on Thursday, citing a decrease in fire risk due to lower temperatures and higher humidity across the region. 

Smoking, metal-work and campfires are now no longer confined to a specific area. Debris-burning is allowed with a permit from a local fire agency. 

But that doesn’t mean the risk is completely gone, said Mike Melton, a fire manager for Southwest Utah.

These fire restrictions are really meant to remind folks as to what is actually causing fires,” he said. “If you were to start a fire, you could be liable for suppression costs and any kind of damage that fire will cause.” 

But on the whole, Melton said Southwest Utahns have done a good job being vigilant, as the season’s largest blazes were caused by lightning.

The lightning-caused Meadow Creek Fire, which was discovered Sept. 8, two miles east of Meadow in Millard County, is now 100% contained after burning a total of 4,231 acres.

U.S. Forest Service investigators have identified two people who they suspect are responsible for the Gun Range Fire. The fire destroyed three homes, damaged eight others and burned more than 300 acres in Bountiful and Centerville in early September. Forest service investigators are working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine the severity of the charges, which could range from a roughly $200 ticket for failing to put out their campfire to the $525,000 used to suppress the blaze. 

Utah Wildfire Info and Inciweb are currently tracking four active fires across the state: 

  • The Green Canyon Pile Burning is a prescribed burn east of Logan. The fire was started on Sept. 19 and is currently sized 161 acres. 
  • The Blacksmith Fork Fire is a prescribed burn started east of Hyrum on Sept. 2. Officials plan to burn 2,700 acres.
  • The Swasey Peak Fire was discovered on Sept. 7 on BLM land in Millard County and is estimated to have burned six to eight acres. Fire managers have decided not to suppress the fire due to the remoteness of the fire, the steepness of the terrain, and the lack of threat to any resources. 

The lightning-caused Chessman CanyonFire was discovered in the Cedar Breaks National Monument on Sept. 3. It has burned approximately 410 acres and is monitored by fire managers to restrict its spread within predetermined boundaries.