LOGAN — As many celebrate the Fourth of July, new fire restrictions are being imposed for northern Utah. The Stage 1 order from the State Forester went into effect at 12:01 a.m. July 1 as the fire danger increases.

Cache County Fire Chief Rod Hammer said the restrictions come as several fires have already occurred locally.

“We’ve had several fires started by fireworks,” explained Hammer. “Last Saturday, we had a fire up Blacksmith Fork that was caused by shooting. The grass is really dry. We call it a receptive fuel bed, meaning pretty much any spark that hits the dry grass will start a fire.”

The National Weather Service has already issued several Red Flags Warnings, as dry temperatures and low humidity is forecast to continue through the first half of July.

Hammer said the restrictions apply to all unincorporated private and state lands, while cities and US Forest Service land have their own restrictions.  He explained the restrictions are basic common sense ways to prevent a fire.

“No open fires. No smoking. No fireworks of course. And then be extremely careful if you are cutting, wielding or grinding any metal, or using small internal combustion engines. Everything is just receptive. It all wants to burn right now.”

The restrictions are being enforced by county law enforcement. Violations can result in fines possible incarceration.

Hammer said they just want to keep people and property safe from fires. He recommended that if you are going to have a campfire in an authorized area or lighting fireworks during the holiday, keep a fire extinguisher close by.

“We’ve seen fires stopped, even grass fires, with fire extinguishers. If you have a campfire where it is allowed right now, have some water next to you, so you can do something if an amber gets out of control.”

Independence and Pioneer days are typically a time when several fires are sparked by fireworks. Firefighters were recently called to a fire in Nibley that was started by a Roman Candle.

Hammer said most people are being more careful with fires than previous years. He has seen public awareness increase, especially after the drought conditions in 2021 and 2022.

“We understand accidents happen. But if everybody is a little bit more careful and aware when they are out in the backcountry or camping, we can be safe and can limit that risk of fire.”

If conditions continue to worsen the state could impose further Stage 2 restrictions.

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