Alarming human-caused wildfire trend continues in Utah

The Cougar Fire blazes through 476 acres, Beaver County, Utah, Aug. 16, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management Color Country District, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Although lightning storms across central and southern Utah sparked numerous fires over the past few days, human-caused fires continue to dominate wildfire statistics in 2020.

According to Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands, as of August 23, nearly 196,000 acres have burned across the state. The amount of fire starts are relatively comparable to 2018, which is touted as Utah’s busiest fire season. Human-caused fires have amounted to 77 percent of all fires in Utah so far in 2020.

“We’re still having an all-time high of human-caused starts in Utah this year,” said Kait Webb with Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands. “We had a very busy year during 2018 — there were a lot of fires and some very memorable large fires, so it was a very busy season. And this year so far, we’re about comparable, just behind on total starts compared to 2018 but again we’re still well ahead with human-caused starts as a total.”

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Written by BRIAN SCHNEE,

Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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