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Utah Forests, Rangelands Are in Prime Fire Danger

by Jon Robinson (webmaster) |

Utah, in its fifth year of drought and with millions of acres of forests and rangelands within its borders, is like a big old stoke furnace looking for a light.

And what ignites a furnace? Fire.

State fire manager Dave Dalrymple points to a small example of a landscape ready to erupt:

He says you can walk 150 miles from Navajo Lake, southeast of Cedar City, to Scofield Reservoir, northwest of Price, and never be out of dry, dead timber.

And because land managers traditionally suppressed fires for years, that forest and others like it are packed with dry, highly flammable undergrowth -- material that, if nature were calling the shots, would periodically burn, reducing the chances of really big blazes.