1:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

State Highway 31 Vulnerable to Rain, Mud & Debris

UDOT crews clean up a mudslide on State Highway 31 in 2013
Utah Department of Transportation

The highway between Fairview and Huntington in central Utah was closed again over the weekend because of debris covering the road.  The Utah Department of Transportation says it’s been an ongoing problem since a wildfire there two years ago.

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Public Lands
3:00 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Is Utah Ignoring the Cost of Fighting Wildfires in Public Lands Debate?

University of Utah Center for Natural and Technological Hazrds

A conservation group says states like Utah that are demanding control over federal public lands are ignoring the costs of managing that land – including the cost of fighting wildfires. 

Utah passed a state law in 2012 demanding the federal government turn over title to its public lands within the state by the end of this year, and authorizing a lawsuit if the feds don’t cooperate.

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Public Safety
4:11 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Unified Fire Authority Using State Grant to Mitigate Fire Risk on Traverse Mountain

UFA fire fighter thin out oak brush on Traverse Mountain
Brian Grimmett

Draper City and the Unified Fire Authority are working hand in hand to help mitigate fire danger on Traverse Mountain.

The area where firefighters are thinning out the underbrush is located on a steep hill leading right up into homes in the SunCrest neighborhood. Unified Fire Authority Captain Riley Pilgrim says they’re hoping to help reduce the fire risk of one of the most dangerous spots in the state.

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Energy & Environment
4:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Fire Season Pauses For Now Thanks to El Nino

Firefighters were tackling this early season blaze in Toquerville two years ago. This year cold, wet spells have delayed the start of the fire busy season.
Credit U.S Bureau of Land Management


Utah’s cold, wet spell is expected to continue through Wednesday, and that could cause a welcomed pause in the fire danger.

The long-term forecast projects a 70 to 80 percent likelihood of El Nino weather conditions for the rest of the year. And that could ease the drought in Utah.

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Public Safety
5:10 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Rockport Fire Burns Homes, Forces Evacuations

Summit County

*Updated at 11:00 a.m. 8/16/13

Summit County officials have removed the evacuation orders for the communities of Bridge Hollow and Promontory. Evacuation orders are still in effect for the communites of Rockport Estates and Rockport Ranches. Officials say those evacuations will remain at least through Monday.

Fire officials released an updated count of the number of homes destroyed, decreasing the original number of 14 to eight. It has also claimed several cars, boats and ATVs near the Rockport State Park. 

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Environment & Public Lands
3:52 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Wildfires Continue to Burn in Eastern Utah

File: Quail Fire burns near Alpine, UT during the Summer 0f 2012
Image by arbyreed / Creative Commons via flickr

Firefighters are still trying to contain three fires started in south eastern Utah last week. The Rock Creek Fire near Price, the Lackey Fan Fire near La Sal and the Dark Canyon Fire west of Monticello all began when a storm rolled through southeast Utah late last week.The Lackey Fan Fire is the biggest of the three having already burned about 900 acres with a crew of over 300 firefighters battling the blaze. The fire is currently burning in the opposite direction of La Sal and crews aren’t planning evacuations at this time. Jason Johnson is the information officer for the Rock Creek Fire.

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Public Safety
11:35 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Utah Fire Officials Forecast a Difficult Summer

Utah Department of Natural Resources

High temperatures and dry conditions have thrust Utah into what could be a difficult fire season. Crews contained the Flood Canyon Fire in Tooele County on Monday and the National Weather Service issued a “Red Flag Warning” for the St. George area over the weekend.

Jason Curry is a Utah State Fire Information Officer. He says because of late rains and higher snow-pack, this summer probably won’t have as many wildfires as last year, but the risk is still above average.

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-KUER News Pod
11:47 am
Tue May 14, 2013

KUER News Pod: Tuesday May 14, 2013

The U.S. government tries to stop a new Utah law from going into effect, sequestration could have a large impact on wildfire season, and local fallen police officers are honored in Washington D.C.

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Public Safety
4:13 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Weaken Wildfire Preparedness

Federal officials are preparing for what is expected to be a challenging fire season this year, specifically in the west. The forecast comes amid diminished federal firefighting dollars as a result of sequestration. 

Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the number of fires that have already burned across the U.S. this year are down from last year by about 5,000. But Vilsack warns not to be lulled into a false sense of security. He says droughts continue to plague much of the country and federal budgets are strained.

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-KUER News Pod
11:35 am
Mon May 13, 2013

KUER News Pod: Monday May 13, 2013

Utah strikes a deal to split responsibility with the federal government for its health exchange, the Unified Fire Authority puts a deputy chief on administrative leave for prescription fraud, and the Utah fire season arrives.

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KUER Local News
4:09 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Utah Wildfires Spurring Two New GOP Sponsored Bills

Pictured left to right Summit County Sheriff Edwards, State Forester Dick Beuhler, Senator Margaret Dayton and Representative Curtis Oda.
Credit Bob Nelson

Lawmakers, the state forester, local law enforcement and the Utah Farm Bureau Federation are trying to build support for two bills that deal with an intense wildfire season expected again this Summer. Both are sponsored by Republican Senator Margaret Dayton.  Senate Bill 62 would expand the governor’s ability to authorize all water sources needed to fight fires while SB 120 would put time and place restrictions on target shooting. State Forester Dick Buehler says just a small fraction of the 1528 wildfires last year were started by target shooters.

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KUER Local News
11:29 am
Tue July 10, 2012

KUER News Pod: Tuesday July 10, 2012

A local LDS church leader’s statement causes a neighborhood divide in Provo, Salt Lake City expands its SmartTrips program, and the Utah state forester says he’ll soon start restricting target shooting. That and more in today's News Pod.

KUER Local News
3:09 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

KUER News Pod: Monday July 2, 2012

Two new wildfires are burning in Utah, a few local cities are cancelling their 4th of July fireworks shows, and in downtown Salt Lake, a couple of peregrine falcons take their first flight. Those stories and more in today's News Pod.

Environment & Public Lands
5:37 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Wildfire Forces Thousands to Evacuate Homes

Image by arbyreed / Creative Commons via flickr

A wildfire continues to burn Friday evening in Western Utah County near Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain.  Mandatory evacuations have forced thousands of people out of their homes. Sergeant Spencer Cannon is a Public Information Officer with the Utah County Sheriff Department. He says that officers have been going to door to door, telling people they need to leave.

“Of course people don’t like doing that, but we’ll increase patrols in the area and make sure homes are protected,” said Cannon.

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Environment & Public Lands
5:04 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Federal Agencies Issue Statewide Fire Restrictions

Map of 2012 Utah Wildfires
Utah Department of Natural Resources

New restrictions to help prevent wildfires across Utah were put in place Thursday. The dry weather and lack of rain have created an early and intense fire season that is expected to continue if conditions don’t change.

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