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Forecasters Warn Dry Conditions Mean More Wildfires This Summer

The Brian Head Fire burned 71,000 acres in southern Utah last year.

Wildfire season is coming up. And new restrictions on fireworks might help reduce the ones’ that are man-made.

“Shouldn’t come as a big surprise to people, with the abysmally low snowpack, relatively little precipitation, and the fuels are dry, fire season 2018 is at this point shaping up to be busier,” said Jason Curry, a spokesperson for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

“There’s going to be more fires,” he said.

According to the National Park Service, humans cause the vast majority of wildfires by leaving campfires unattended, lighting fireworks and discarding cigarettes. Others are set by natural events like lightning.

The Utah legislature voted this year to cut back on the number of days people can use fireworks by nearly half. And lawmakers stiffened penalties for those who don’t follow the rules.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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