Wildfires | KUER 90.1


Photo of the Pine Hollow fire.
Bureau of Land Management

Utah’s official fire season runs from June 1 to October 31. Here’s a round-up of helpful information to guide you through it.

Photo of crowded meeting room.
Utah County Commission Meeting Screenshot

Thursday morning, July 16, 2020

Davis County Jail.
Whittey Evans / KUER

Wednesday morning, July 15, 2020

Screenshot of an online Utah income tax form
via tax.utah.gov

Tuesday evening, July 14, 2020

Salt Lake City police officers in riot gear lined up opposite protesters on Thursday evening.
Brian Albers / KUER

Tuesday morning, July 14, 2020

Photo of adult grizzly bear in Yellowstone.
Courtesy of NPS / Jim Peaco

Thursday morning, July 9, 2020

Photo of SLC Airport draft plan mailer.
Elaine Clark / KUER

Friday morning, July 3 2020

Photo of the U sign on the university of utah campus
Brian Albers / KUER

Tuesday morning, June 30, 2020

Photo of Vivin Smarthome Arena.
LHM Sports and Entertainment, Vivint

Monday morning, June 29, 2020

Photo of the lake
ventdusud via iStock

Friday morning, June 26, 2020

Photo of cliff dwelling.
Bureau of Land Management

Thursday morning, June 11, 2020

Photo of Park City Mountain Resort and town.
Johnnya123 / iStock.com

Tuesday morning, June 9, 2020

Photo of Sean Reyes.
Brian Grimmett / KUER

Thursday morning, June 4, 2020

Photo of SLCPD and bus.
Brian Albers / KUER

Wednesday morning, June 3, 2020

A wildfire burns up the left side of a distant ridge.
Tooele Fire Warden Twitter

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.

Photo of burning pinyon and juniper beside Toquerville sign.
David Fuchs / KUER

Tuesday morning, May 19, 2020

Photo of air pollution
Brian Albers / KUER

Wednesday morning, May 13, 2020

As the U.S. Forest Service prepares for the wildfire season, it must also confront COVID-19.

Already the agency's put a stop to prescribed burning. And it says it will continue fire suppression and other activities with guidance from the CDC.

A photo of a bulldozer plowing a fire break in a forest. Flames and smoke are visible in the background.
Wikimedia Commons

Monday morning, Feb. 17, 2020

Hot show crew faces a fire along a forest road.

Wednesday morning, Jan. 29, 2020

Snow covers a tree-lined road.
Austin Benjamin / Flickr

Tuesday evening, December 24, 2019

Piles of debris burn in a snow-covered forest.
Courtesy of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands

Utah’s fire season is officially over following last month’s winter storms.

Photo of desert with a State Trust Land sign.
Headwaters Economics

A new white paper from the non-profit Headwaters Economics says transferring public lands from the federal government to Western states would generate more revenue, but also comes with high economic costs.

A riparian area along the Virgin River.
Elaine Clark / KUER


Editor’s Note: During impeachment inquiry hearings, KUER is offering news roundups from around the state and audio of those stories as a resource for our audience.

Wildland firefighters use fire retardant — the red stuff that air tankers drop — to suppress existing blazes. But Stanford researchers have developed a gel-like fluid they say makes fire retardant last longer and could prevent wildfires from igniting in the first place if applied to ignition-prone areas.

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. That’s got researchers in our region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones.

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Photo of Peavin Canyon Fire.
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

The word wildfire tends to invoke fear, but some wildfires are actually good. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Peavine and Poison Canyon fires currently burning in the Manti-La Sal National Forest will help the environment and act as future fire suppressants.

It’s no secret that wildfires are getting worse in the West. They’re threatening lives, homes and ecosystems. And they are also threatening our already-precarious watersheds. It’s all becoming a vicious cycle  — especially for the drier parts of our region.