It's already apparent that the recent and ongoing consuming wildfires in Utah will have an impact on the state's economy. Kerry Bringhurst spoke with Kyle Stevens, Deputy Commissioner for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, about the impacts on the agricultural industry in Utah. Livestock producers in Sanpete County have reported the loss of lambs and ewes in wildfires. In other areas of the state, livestock has been evacuated.
Better safe than sorry says the U.S. Forest Service. The agency has temporarily closed the popular Oak Grove Campground north of St. George in the Dixie National Forest because of extreme fire danger. A major factor in the move is accessibility. There is only one road in and out of the area and a wildfire could easily cut off campers from their only escape.
Despite a statewide red flag alert, the service also reports that firefighters have extinguished several abandoned campfires in the area near the campground in the past week.
The Forest Service calls the move a "proactive approach to safeguard the public during these extremely dry conditions."
Nearly 70,000 US communities are at risk this wildfire season, and with an average of 6.5 million acres burned each year, it's important for people to be prepared.
Pam Leschak of the U.S. Forest Service talked to UPR's Mackinzie Hamilton about the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Initiative, a national public service campaign that helps individuals, communities, and land managers to prepare for wildfire season.
60,000 acres burned in Utah last year and Leschak says, "This year's gonna be a lot more active than last year. It's early in the season and we're already seeing a lot of activity."
The Wood Hollow Fire, near the town of Fountain Green in Sanpete County started Saturday afternoon.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the communities of Indian Ridge, Elk Ridge, Big hollow, and Oaker Hills are under mandatory evacuation. A number of structures have been lost in the fire, some full-time residences and some seasonal vacation homes.
At least one life has been claimed by the Wood Hollow Fire. Sanpete County Sheriff's deputies and Sanpete County Search & Rescue members found an unidentified body during an assessment of the evacuation area Tuesday morning.
The fire is only 15% contained and portions of Highway 89 remain closed.
There is a Red Cross emergency shelter at North Sanpete High School (309 E 700 S in Mt. Pleasant).
This is the second week of competition in the Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. This week's competitors are 14 - 18 years old.
Last week the 11 - 13 year old pianists competed in the Junior Competition. Ryota Yamazaki, a Japanese 13-year-old who lives and studies in Utah, was named the winner for his performance of Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 in C Major.
UPR's Mackinzie Hamilton spoke to Gary Billings, the director of the competition, and learned more about the high caliber of these performers.
Utah’s top law enforcement official says Monday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down much of Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law is mostly a win for Utah’s HB 497, a similar law currently tied up in federal court. But as Jeff Robinson reports, immigration advocates still think it will be struck down.
Does the state need to do more to prevent wildfires? Governor Gary Herbert says in light of this year’s extreme fire season, he’s asked the legislature and other state leaders to review target shooting.
Last year over 1 million people visited Arches National Park, putting unprecedented strain on parking lots and 18 miles of park roads. At some spots, long lines of RVs blocked a good part of the scenery. But the Park Service is adamant that, unlike Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks, traffic at Arches should not be restricted.
The plan just unveiled calls instead for a free bus system to compete with private cars.