Fire officials say thunderstorms forecasted for southern Utah pose a wildfire threat.
Utah’s wet winter and spring brought lots of vegetation to its national parks, but the hot summer weather has turned it all into fuel for wildfires.
“All the moisture has been sucked out of that vegetation and so it’s dry and ready to burn,” says Chris Asbjorn. He advises the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service on fire prevention.
Asbjorn says the public needs to take special precautions to prevent fires. He recommends that people be careful during the upcoming 4th of July weekend. Fireworks are never allowed on public lands and Asbjorn suggests that even at home people only light fireworks in areas clear of vegetation.
“And if there’s any question, whether or not you should be using the fireworks, you may just want to leave it to the professionals and go watch the great shows that are being put on” he says.
The National Park Service has also set fire restrictions in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks that will go into effect on Friday July 1st. Open fires in backcountry campsites will be prohibited as well as smoking except in an enclosed vehicle, parking lot, or developed area cleared of flammable materials.