Closed fire season extended to end of November
By James Tilson
Weather conditions have led to an extension of closed fire season in central Utah counties through the end of November.
Brian Cottam, director of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, officially extended the closed fire season to Nov. 30 in Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne Counties. The closed fire season usually ends on Oct. 31.
Cottam cited the danger of wildfire being higher than usual for this time of year “due to warmer than usual weather and dry fuel conditions in central Utah.”
Those conditions already led to several incidents throughout Sanpete County in November. Early in the month, a weed fire in Manti spread into a blaze requiring a response from Manti and other fire departments. And then in Gunnison and Fayette, homeowner weed fires spread out of control on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Were it not for the quick reaction time of the Gunnison Fire Department, those fires could have caused major damage.
The fires prompted Gunnison Valley Fire Chief Jed Hansen to ask the Gunnison and Centerfield councils to put emergency fire restrictions in place. Both councils, as well as Mayfield and Fayette councils, promptly voted emergency measures in place.
The declaration by Cottam covered all state and unincorporated lands outside of incorporated municipalities.