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Utah prepares for ongoing drought and a rough fire season

Posted at 2:29 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 18:10:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY — State officials are warning of a lack of water in the ongoing drought and a potentially rough wildfire season.

Soil moisture has improved, meaning what snow and rain Utah gets is more likely to go into reservoirs. The bad news is reservoir levels are down below last year's levels. Already, some water conservancy districts are imposing restrictions.

The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District has asked residents to cut indoor water use by 10% because of low water levels. Other water conservancy districts will impose outdoor watering restrictions. The Utah Division of Water Resources said people also should not be doing any outdoor watering right now.

"Don’t start watering just yet. It’s still really early, you don’t need to water yet," said Laura Haskell, the drought coordinator for Utah's Division of Water Resources. "The sooner you water, the sooner you have to mow your lawn and nobody wants to do that."

Meanwhile, the state is preparing for what could be a rough wildfire season when temperatures heat up. The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands warned people to be cautious when they recreate outdoors this year.

"Just be conscious of how conditions are outdoors. It’s so dry and, right now ,especially before we get our spring green-up, things are still left over from last year. We’ve got a lot of dry grass that could start and on a windy day especially," said Jason Curry, the agency's deputy director.

By May, cities across the state will start publishing fireworks restrictions. It is expected that some cities will impose large-scale restrictions out of concern for wildfire danger.