People camping on state and private land in Cache County and throughout northern Utah will have to get by without a campfire for the foreseeable future now that the state has put additional fire restrictions in place.
Beginning Wednesday, open fires will be prohibited on all state-owned lands as well as on unincorporated private lands within Box Elder, Cache, Rich and Weber counties. The order from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands bars people from “building, maintaining, attending or using any fire, campfire, or stove fire including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and tent stoves.”
The restrictions do not apply to campers in developed campgrounds in the Cache National Forest, where restrictions are still at “Stage One.” However, fires outside developed campgrounds are prohibited in the national forest under “Stage One.”
The new restrictions, which remain in effect until further notice, apply to developed campgrounds and picnic grounds, as well as to private property that isn’t located within an incorporated city.
Stoves, grills and other flame-producing devices that use pellets, pressurized liquid fuel or gas, and that are equipped with shut-off valves, can still be used in areas located at least three feet or more from flammable materials like grasses or pine needles.
Restrictions that have been in effect for the past six weeks on smoking, fireworks, shooting, metal work and devices with internal combustion engines remain in effect under the new requirements.
The state decided to implement the “Stage Two” restrictions after determining “that measures must be taken to prevent the ignition of forest and rangeland fires,” according to a press released issued Monday. Stage One restrictions prohibiting campfires in undeveloped areas have been in effect since early June as Utah continues to experience historically severe drought conditions and unusually high fire danger.
The new restrictions don’t directly address the use of fireworks ahead of the Pioneer Day weekend. All fireworks restrictions that were in effect for the Independence Day holiday remain in force for state, federal and unincorporated lands, and many individual cities have additional restrictions on land located within their boundaries.
People in areas that don’t have additional restrictions in place are permitted to light state-approved fireworks from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25, with an exception allowing them until midnight on Pioneer Day this Saturday.