Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Catastrophic Wildfire Reduction Strategy - News Release

Catastrophic Wildfire Reduction Committee Final Report

Strategy to Reduce Catastrophic Wildfire Identifies 14 Projects

(Salt Lake City) – A statewide committee tasked with finding ways to reduce catastrophic wildfires in Utah is recommending the state undertake 14 pilot projects across the state aimed at improving public safety, protecting roads, bridges and our water supply. The committee’s report offers a series of recommendations that expand public awareness, create a Utah catastrophic fire reduction fund, coordinate wildland resources statewide, and more.

Governor Gary R. Herbert created the steering committee following the 2012 fire season that burned 422,000 acres and cost the state and federal government an estimated $50 million.  The governor challenged the committee to develop a strategy to reduce the size, intensity and frequency of wildland fires in Utah. The governor identified $4 million to initiate funding of select projects.

The report states, “Dollars spent to prevent catastrophic fires will save many times more dollars than the cost of suppression and rehabilitation. In fact, every dollar spent in prevention saves $17 in suppression.”  

Catastrophic wildfires significantly impact our landscapes, economy and infrastructure and are considered the most preventable natural disaster facing Utah.   Reducing large fires in Utah will protect life, property, communities, economics, and our environment.

The steering committee is comprised of members of the Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands; Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; U.S.Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Forest Service; Utah Association of Counties; Trout Unlimited; The Nature Conservancy; Box Elder County; Daggett County; Kane County; Tooele County; Washington County; Utah Conservation Commission; The Utah Governor's Office; SITLA; USDA-NRCS; and others.

A complete description of each of the projects and the full Catastrophic Wildfire Reduction Strategy report is located
here Final Report.