Fires in Utah this year...

..have been very few and far between. Particularly for a drought year. Fewer storms?

June was much hotter then normal, July and August much cooler. Somehow combined to make no fires. We've had three I think this year, all small. Usually we have 50-100 fires.

I'd like to say it's the wildlands management policy that's the reason. They have been working hard over the last decade to do prescribed burns in the early spring and late fall when fires are easy to control in the rangeland and forests because the trees are full of water and fires burn slowly. Get rid of the underbrush and keep the fire out of the canopy and you have a safe situation. Congratulations, planners! Here is their website: They schedule these burns based on how quickly the smoke will dissipate, using a Smoke Clearing Index as a guide for each airshed in Utah.

The Clearing Index is a measure of how well smoke is cleared form the air. Below 500 means the smoke will remain; above 100 means smoke is cleared rapidly. Airsheds, topological air movement patterns, are part of the calculation:

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