sorry utah Even in a wet year we are not out of the woods from forest fires

Fire season may start later, but summer will still bring flames.

(Utah National Guard via Twitter) An aerial view of the Red Bridge Fire taken by the Utah National Guard. The fire broke out in the River Bottoms south of Fort Duchesne on Sunday, April 23. Utah National Guard says it conducted 20 firefighting bucket drops.

Despite record snowpack and ubiquitous talk of spring runoff and flooding, Utah has already seen over 20 wildfires this year.

This number is from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. Kayli Guild, the prevention and communications coordinator, said the fires had been minimal and there was not a high risk – at the moment.

Thanks to the snow, Utah’s wildfire season is likely to start later. But the bounty doesn’t erase the risk, and the next few months will determine how big the problem will be this summer.

The National Interagency Fire Center’s most recent outlook projects portions of Utah to have below-average fire potential through May. They predict normal levels through July as the summer heat picks up.

Fire predictions are complicated and come with many uncertainties, said Jon Meyer, associate public climatologist at Utah State University’s Utah Climate Center. Therefore, in April it is difficult to predict what the wildfire season will be like until July.

To learn more about this year’s fire season, read KUER’s full story.

This article is published by the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of Utah news organizations dedicated to educating readers across the state.

Justin Scaccy

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