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wildfires

A photo of firefighters taking a water break at the Dollar Ridge Fire east of Strawberry Reservoir in Utah.
Courtesy/Dollar Ridge Fire Team

Expenses are piling up for fighting the recent wildfires in Utah.

 

One of the world’s biggest firefighting aircraft is based in Colorado Springs. But it's fighting fires in California right now, rather than in the Mountain West.

Smoke plumes from wildfires in front of clouds.
With permission, Spring Creek Fire Facebook

So far around 60 wildfires are burning on 700,000 acres of land nationwide. Here’s a look at the 2018 fire season in our region and the forecast for the summer.

Utah Fire Info

This post was updated at 6:45 a.m. 7/10/18

 

Fifty-five large wildfires are burning nationwide, and they've scorched more than 1,766 square miles of forest and range in a dozen states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

 

 

Utah Wildfire Info / Twitter

As wildfires burned throughout Utah Thursday morning, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a ban on open fires and fireworks on all state-owned land.

Target shooting is a popular activity on public lands across our region. It's also the second leading human cause of wildfires.

Governor's Office

A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled multiple wildfires scorching the drought-stricken U.S. West on Wednesday.

Each summer, thousands of firefighters devote long hours to putting out wildfires. At the end of each day, they retreat to camp a safe distance away where they can relax and recharge to be ready for their next shift. And also get fed. For the Mountain West News Bureau’s Faces Behind the Fire series, we talk to the man in charge of the kitchen.

 


Wildfire season is ramping up in the region. Fire teams are now working to quash one outside Durango, Colorado, and Utah recently stopped another. That state is now doing prescribed burns to reduce the chance of a bigger blaze.

Fire experts say this season could be big for wildfires in our region. Our Mountain West New Bureau takes you behind the scenes with stories about the people who protect our communities, land and wildlife during wildlfire season. 

This story is about the people who rush into the smoke not to save people or structures, but … animals.  

Judy Fahys / KUER

Rowdy Muir started fighting fires on the front lines when he was 27.

While Colorado and Utah are prepping for a severe wildfire season this year, Montana, Wyoming and northern Idaho have been counting their lucky stars because all three states had a huge snowpack this season.

“We have the best snowpacks in the country,” said meteorologist Michael Richmond.

When all that snow melts, it’ll keep the forest wet and protected from fire.

However that doesn’t mean the region is free and clear.  Richmond said it may get hotter and drier than usual this summer. A lot of heat and no rain can dry out a forest within a week or two.

OFFICE OF UTAH GOVERNOR GARY HERBERT

Wildfire season is coming up. And new restrictions on fireworks might help reduce the ones’ that are man-made.