Aerial photo showing how close the Sardine Fire came to homes along Aspen Way. (Photo: Utah Fire)
LOGAN — New fire restrictions have been issued for northern Utah as forecasted hot temperatures and dry vegetation continues to plague the area. The Stage 1 Order from the State Forester went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday as the fire danger remains high.
Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn said crews have already been dispatched to two fires in Cache Valley this summer. The Sardine and Providence fires are both suspected to have been human caused.
“The fire up Sardine is still under investigation,” explained Winn. “In this case, somebody pulled off the road and that is where the fire started. The one up in Providence was because of target shooters. I know that target shooting is fun and everybody likes to do it, but we have got to be really careful.”
According to the order, the restrictions prohibit:
- No open fires of any kind except within established public facilities in improved campgrounds, picnic areas. -OR- In permanently constructed fire pits at private homes where running water is present.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area that is paved or free from dry vegetation.
- Discharging or using any fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets.
- Cutting, welding or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
- Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.
Winn explained that the restrictions apply to all state lands and unincorporated private lands in Cache, Box Elder, Rich and Weber counties. It does not affect National Forest areas, private lands, or within incorporated towns and city limits.
“These restrictions are for unincorporated county and state lands. So if you are going up the canyons, make sure you are aware if you are camping on state lands or federal property.”
So far Logan hasn’t received any measurable rainfall this month. During June, only a half-inch of precipitation was recorded.
Winn said this summer is shaping up to be just like last year. He’s hopeful though that citizens will take these restrictions serious so we don’t have any more fires in the area.
“Last year was a perfect example, we were in the same situation. It was very dry but people were very aware of the situation and used common sense, and we hardly had any fires. Yes we have more fuel that is dried out this year but on the other hand, if everybody plays it safe and smart about what they are doing, we should be okay.”
The restrictions are being enforced by state and county law enforcement. Violations can punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up $1,000.