Utah’s fire agencies are currently reporting two wildfires burning in the state.
The Ninth Street Fire in the hills east of Ogden is burning 35 acres. The blaze has damaged a Rocky Mountain Power substation, downed several power lines and threatened 72 homes. It was 15% contained as of 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Tabby Canyon Fire ignited on Stansbury Island on Saturday evening. The roughly 4,500-acre human-caused fire was 0% contained as of 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Fire officials reported on Sunday that high winds were preventing the state's fire agencies from flying in personnel to the site, requiring firefighters to hike in to combat the blaze.
The Bureau of Land Management West Desert District office issued a fire prevention order on Sunday afternoon for all areas in the vicinity of the Tabby Canyon Fire. The order restricts public access to the BLM-managed lands surrounding the fire site, as well as prohibiting certain activities such as target shooting and camping. The restricted area extends from north of I-80 on Stanbury Island to the Great Salt Lake.
The Ninth Street and Tabby Canyon Fires come one day ahead of the official start of Utah’s fire season, which begins on June 1, as defined by state law.
This year’s late spring has proven to be an active period for wildfires in Utah.
As of May 27, the state had seen a total of 237 wildfires so far in 2020. Last season, Utah did not reach that number until mid-July, according to UtahFireInfo, a Twitter account maintained by the various fire agencies in the state.
Fire officials have attributed that activity to the combination of a record-dry spring and the greater number of people recreating outdoors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Humans have caused 95% of the fires in the state this year, according to state fire officials. By contrast, only two-thirds of the state’s wildfires were human-caused last year.