Summit County Fire Warden Explains Firepit Restrictions
As Summit and Wasatch county communities adjust to what could be a historic wildfire season, summer rites of passage are falling by the wayside.
No backcountry campfires this year. No fireworks. No backyard bonfires. No firepits unless they meet certain criteria.
Summit and Wasatch counties are currently at Level 1 fire restrictions. And next week, restrictions may tighten even further. Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer said Wasatch County is expected to move into Level 2 fire restrictions, which means only gas-fueled outdoor fires would be permitted. Boyer said Summit County and other areas may not be too far behind.
"There are starting to be rumblings of it," Boyer said. "I know areas down in southern Utah are working at it. Now Wasatch County is probably in the next week going to go to a level two. As of right now, I'm not looking at Summit until probably mid to late July but that could change based on weather."
The firepits that are allowed are classified as improved firepits. Those are pits that are either permanently installed or bought from an outdoor supply store. Permanent campgrounds like KOA sites still permit fires in improved pits as well. But as for camping, those portable Home Depot-type pits can only be used at home. Under Level 1 fire restrictions, those are only permitted next to permanent dwellings that have pressurized water available for extinguishing, so don’t pack them into the RV this summer.
And fires in rock rings aren’t allowed anywhere right now, because they don’t have bases improved with sand or brick to prevent fires from spreading.
"No rock rings," Boyer said. "They typically don't meet the improved standard, which is like a sand base or a brick in bottom. Fire can get down into root systems, crawl, go through the roots and pop up and go, you know, create a wildfire or brush fire. The improved pits have the standards so basically the entire pit is enclosed or has a barrier from root systems and that kind of stuff."
Fire officials are still encouraging people to get outside anyway, especially while everything is still so green. Just focus on those dark skies and stars.