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With the start of the big game hunting season, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests is reminding hunters and other forest users that due to continued dry conditions and predicted warming trends, the forest has extended the stage 1 fire restrictions until October 15, 2020. The general-season any legal weapon elk hunt runs from Oct. 3-15, and the general-season any legal weapon deer hunt runs from Oct. 17-25.

Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed only in developed campgrounds. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles, buildings, in developed campgrounds, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of any flammable material.

Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are clear of flammable materials.

The Forest Service would like to remind all Forest users to follow “Tread Lightly” principles: travel only where motorized vehicles are permitted, stay on designated routes, and avoid streams, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads, trails and steep hillsides.

It is the responsibility of all hunters and other Forest users to obtain Motor Vehicle Use Maps, which show roads and trails that are designated open to motorized vehicles. However, Forest users should be aware that roads and trails could close early for safety reasons due to inclement weather conditions. Hunters and other users may be asked to leave these areas in the event of an early closure.

Under no circumstances are motorized vehicles allowed off-designated roads and trails, not even to retrieve game.

Hunters and other Forest users should always keep these safety tips in mind:

• Be adequately prepared for weather conditions to change

• Carry waterproof matches, extra food, water, first-aid-kit, flashlight, map, compass, whistle, extra clothing, (rain gear-cold weather gear) and a cell phone, if available

• Leave a trip itinerary with family or friends and have a check-in/check-out plan

• Remember to wear orange attire that is visible

• Watch out for additional foot traffic on roadways. Hunters will often use roads to walk to and from hunting areas and camps

• Carry in your vehicle: a tow strap; proper tire chains and a shovel (remember, visitors may be held responsible for any resource damage that occurs while removing a stuck vehicle).

• Learn to recognize potentially dangerous situations and know when to turn around. If you are planning to use livestock on National Forest lands, remember that you are permitted to use only certified weed-free straw, hay or pellets to help prevent the spread of noxious weeds.

Check with your local Forest Service office that manages the area you are planning to visit to obtain current road, trail, and campground and weather conditions before you leave.

• Ashley National Forest: (435) 789-1181 http://www.fs.usda.gov/ashley/

• Dixie National Forest: (435) 865-3700 http://www.fs.usda.gov/dixie

• Fishlake National Forest: (435) 896-9233 http://www.fs.usda.gov/fishlake

• Manti-LaSal National Forest: (435) 637-2817 http://www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal/

• Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest: (801) 999-2103 http://www.fs.usda.gov/uwcnf

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