Monday, 02 July 2007 15:43

Statewide fire ban declared by governor

fireNEOLA, Duchesne County — With more than 260 fires documented so far, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. declared a statewide fire ban Monday that prohibits camp fires, smoking and fireworks on federal, state and unincorporated county lands across Utah.

"The governor is asking for local governments and law enforcement to strictly enforce their regulations regarding fireworks," Lisa Roskelley, Huntsman's spokeswoman said.

Originally, federal and state authorities had implemented the fire ban for areas west of I-15 and all of Washington County. In response to the severity of the more than 30,000 acres burning near here, the ban was expanded.

The ban extends to holiday revelers who are prohibited from discharging, or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition, or other incendiary devices in any location on federal, state, and unincorporated private lands.

Exceptions to the ban include campfires within developed campgrounds and approved fire pits. Smoking is allowed in an enclosed vehicle, camp trailer, or developed camp site.

Federal fire officials say conditions are ripe for the tiniest spark to ignite a raging inferno. "Conditions were drying out so rapidly," said Susan Marzec, BLM spokeswoman said.

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