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Restrictions put in place to ward off wildfires in southern Utah

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-30 19:34:14-04

SOUTHERN UTAH -- So far this year it's been a slow season for wildfires. While that's a good thing for public lands, fire managers say the dry conditions have agencies on edge.

"We're coming into the hottest period of the summer,” said Mark Rosenthal, fire manager for the Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip District. "Activities that people would normally participate in, without thinking about it, could easily start fires."

Ongoing drought conditions are one of the reasons mangers in southwest Utah and northern Arizona are expanding fire conditions beginning Tuesday at midnight until further notice.

Those restrictions differ slightly between agencies, but in general prohibit fires unless they're in an approved fire ring. Even then vigilance is needed.

Washington County Fire Warden Adam Heyder said they've already battled a number of fires that were the result of runaway campfires.

"Drought conditions have been existing for a few years now, which is causing a lot of the heavier vegetation and the trees, even up on the mountains, to be a lot drier earlier on in the year," Heyder said.

Increased restrictions also prohibit welding and grinding, unless approved by fire officials.

Even smoking outside the car is prohibited in certain areas unless there's at least a three-foot buffer.

Cities also have their own firework restrictions.

Heyder said despite the increased restrictions, they've seen a general trend of the public becoming more aware, which is leading to more fire-free years.

Below is a full list of fire restrictions by agency, provided by the Color Country Interagency Fire District.

Unincorporated Privately Owned and all State Owned Lands in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington Counties (UT Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands):
The following acts will be prohibited until further notice:

• Setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fire of any kind, except campfires and charcoal fires within agency approved fire pits and grills provided in developed recreation sites and picnic areas or at permanently improved places of habitation (contact Forestry, Fire and State Lands for further information). Devices fueled by petroleum or LPG products are allowed in all locations
• Smoking except in enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site or cleared areas of a minimum of three (3) feet in diameter down to mineral soil.
• Discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices
• Use of exploding targets that are detonated when struck by a projectile such as a bullet
• The cutting, welding or grinding of metal in areas of dry vegetation.

These restrictions do not apply to private lands within incorporated towns and cities.

Please contact the local fire agency for any restrictions that may apply.

Dixie National Forest, Cedar City and Powell Ranger Districts:
The following acts will be prohibited until further notice:

• Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire, including charcoal and briquettes, outside a fire structure that is provided by the Forest Service within a designated area, (All developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas) that are maintained and administered by the Forest Service, shown on the current Forest visitor maps, and have a permanent fire structure). Stoves or grills that are fueled solely by liquid petroleum fuels are allowed in all locations.

• Smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building unless stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials.

These restrictions were enacted earlier and remain in effect for the Pine Valley Ranger District.

The National Park Service including Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Cedar Breaks NM, Pipe Spring NM, and Glen Canyon NRA:

The following acts will be prohibited until further notice:

• Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire outside a fire structure that is provided by the National Park Service within a designated area, (agency approved fire pits and grills provided for in developed recreation sites and picnic areas). Stoves or grills that are solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels are allowed in all locations.
• Smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building unless stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials.
• Note that discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other incendiary devices in any location on federal lands is always prohibited.

The following exceptions apply to Zion NP and Glen Canyon NRA only:
• Watchman Campground and South Campground in Zion National Park are closed to campfires due to the abundance of highly flammable cheat grass
• Campfires and charcoal fires will continue to be allowed in Glen Canyon National

Recreation Area below the high waterline in areas devoid of vegetation

Bureau of Land Management Color Country District (UT) Administered Lands in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington Counties, Including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and the Arizona Strip District (AZ):

The following acts will be prohibited until further notice:

• No campfires, except in permanently constructed cement or metal fire pits provided in developed campgrounds and picnic areas.
• Smoking except in enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site or cleared areas of a minimum of three (3) feet in diameter down to mineral soil.
• Grinding, cutting and welding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
• Detonation of fireworks and exploding targets/devices (Fire Prevention Order No. UT910-13-002).

Permissible Acts:
Devices fueled by petroleum or liquid petroleum gas in all locations.
Charcoal burning in developed campgrounds or picnic grounds within permanent fire rings or grills constructed of metal or concrete. In undeveloped camping locations, charcoal must be set in metal pans in areas clear of flammable vegetation within three diameter feet.

These restrictions do not apply to Sanpete, Wayne, Piute, or Sevier Counties.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Administered Trust Lands of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah in Washington and Iron Counties and of the Kaibab Paiute Tribe in Mojave County, Arizona:

The following acts will be prohibited until further notice:

• Setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fire of any kind, except campfires and charcoal fires within agency approved fire pits and grills provided in developed recreation sites and picnic areas or at permanently improved places of habitation. Devices fueled by petroleum or LPG products are allowed in all locations
• Smoking except in enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site or cleared areas of a minimum of three (3) feet in diameter down to mineral soil.
• Discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices
• Use of exploding targets that are detonated when struck by a projectile such as a bullet
• The cutting, welding or grinding of metal in areas of dry vegetation.

Please check with the appropriate agency for details.