Hunting Season Brings More People, More Wildfire Risk to the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Release Date: Aug 17, 2018  

Contact(s): KJ Pollock (801) 558-8016


HUNTING SEASON BRINGS MORE PEOPLE, MORE WILDFIRE RISK TO THE UINTA-WASATCH-CACHE NATIONAL FOREST

Salt Lake City, August 17, 2018 – With fall archery season in Utah starting this weekend, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest officials are cautioning bowhunters and campers to remain aware of the risk posed by unattended campfires, particularly those outside of established campgrounds, during this continued period of extreme fire danger.

“Our Federal Protection Officers and other crews continue to discover and extinguish abandoned campfires,” said Forest Supervisor Dave Whittekiend. “With the low snow pack and unusually dry conditions this year, it is more critical than ever to use any water source available to ensure every fire is cold, dead out.”

Fire officials need your help to prevent the worst-cause scenario. Before leaving home, learn if there are any fire restrictions and if campfires are allowed in the area where you'll hunt or camp. Current fire restrictions are posted on Utah Fire Info at https://utahfireinfobox.com/fire-restrictions/.

If campfires are allowed, remember the basics to keep your campfire safe. Reid Shelley, the Forest’s Assistant Fire Management Officer for fire prevention, provides these simple tips:

  1. Before you light your fire, take a moment to look at the area. Remove all brush and dry grasses.
  2. Watch the wind conditions, make sure that the weather won't carry your fire further than intended.
  3. Keep your fire small.
  4. When it's time to put your fire out, be sure to use both water and dirt and use a shovel to stir. Remember, if it's too hot to touch with the back of your hand, it's too hot to leave.

“Even if you camp where streams are dry and you want to conserve drinking water, melted ice water at the bottom of a cooler works great for this purpose,” said Shelley.

So far this year, more than half of all wildfires in Utah have been started by people. Most were accidents, all were preventable. Those who carelessly start wildfires may be criminally prosecuted and liable for firefighting costs.

Public health and safety are a priority for the Forest. For more tips on how to help prevent wildfires, see the shared message from State and Federal Interagency Wildfire Partners in Utah at http://utahfireinfobox.com/prevention/.