UDAF Urges Extreme Caution with Agricultural Burns Amidst Exceptional Drought Conditions

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Press Release

As the state of Utah is experiencing exceptional drought conditions and has entered the closed fire season of June 1-October 31, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is urging all Utahns, including those in the agricultural community, to avoid burning fires, whether they be recreational or prescribed burns for agricultural purposes.

“Farmers and ranchers are being greatly affected by the extreme drought conditions this year,” said Craig Buttars, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food. “Feed for livestock will be scarce, which is why it will be even more pertinent that we have as much rangeland as possible. Wildfires would be severely detrimental to Utah’s farmers and ranchers.”

The department recognizes that agricultural or prescribed burns are necessary at times. If this is the case, below are some guidelines to help you burn safely:

● Do not burn if not necessary

● Do not burn on high wind days

● Inform your local fire department that you will be burning, apply for a permit if applicable, and have them on stand by if your fire gets out of control

● Have a charged hose and sufficient water to control flare ups

● See regulations and additional instructions here: https://ffsl.utah.gov/fire/burn-permits-and-fire-code/

The Department of Natural Resources, which is closely monitoring the drought and its effects on Utah’s wildlands and forests, echoes the importance of practicing safe burning during this extreme drought year. “Utah is experiencing extreme drought across the state,” said Jamie Barnes, Director of the Forestry, Fire, and State Lands Division in the Department of Natural Resources. “Temperatures are warm and the highs have increased over these last few days. We will start to see an increase in dry fuels and individuals should take caution in all outdoor activities to prevent the starting of a wildfire. Fire sense is very important at all times, but especially in these conditions.”

UDAF thanks all Utahns for their continued support during these difficult drought conditions and for their efforts in conserving water and preventing wildfires.

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