Fire restrictions in place since June 12 in the Bureau of Land Management Canyon Country Fire Zone were lifted on Nov. 1. The zone covers the Moab and Monticello BLM Field Offices in Grand and San Juan counties. Similar restrictions on the Manti-La Sal National Forest were also lifted on Nov. 1. The summer fire restrictions prohibited campfires anywhere outside of constructed cement or metal fire pits in established campgrounds or day-use areas and restricted other activities such as smoking, cutting or grinding metal, and the use of fireworks and firearms.
Though the fire ban has been lifted, officials urge citizens to continue to be cautious.
“This is the first year that human started fires have exceeded natural ignitions in the district,” said Canyon Country Fire Management Officer Clark Maughan. “Even though we’ve had some moisture, drier than normal conditions persist so we ask that people remain vigilant and take extra care when engaging in outdoor activities on their public lands this fall and winter.”
According to a chart available on the Moab Interagency Fire Center website, updated on Oct. 25, 1122.7 acres burned in wildfires in southeast Utah in 2020. Of those acres, 637.93 were due to human-caused fires. The area tallied includes the Manti-La Sal National Forest, the Price area, and Grand and San Juan counties.
The National Interagency Coordinating Center produces climate predictions available on their website. The North American Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook says the Great Basin region, including Utah, will experience continuing drought through the fall and early winter, contributing to “above normal significant fire potential.”
“La Niña, ongoing large fire activity, and current fuel conditions are the main drivers of significant fire potential through fall and into winter,” the report states.
While overarching fire restrictions have been lifted, specific restrictions may vary by location. Visitors should always check with local authorities to verify what fire restrictions remain in place. For more information, visit utahfireinfo.gov.