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Zion restricts campfires, smoking as summer heats up

SPRINGDALE, Utah — Rising heat and dry conditions in Zion Canyon have led to early-summer fire restrictions in the National Park, which went into effect on June 8.

Visitors will not be able to smoke near vegetation or build campfires in Watchman Campground. According to a news release issued by park officials, restrictions will stay in effect until lifted by the park superintendent.

“One person’s actions can affect thousands of acres of land,” Lyndsay Fonger, Zion National Park fire management officer, said in the news release.
A relatively wet winter in the southern part of Utah has caused tall grasses like cheatgrass to grow tall. Now, those grasses are drying out and starting to become extremely flammable.
Fire restrictions in Zion
  • Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using open fires of any kind in the park in general, and specifically campfires and charcoal fires within Watchman Campground or picnic areas in Zion Canyon. (Stoves fueled by petroleum or liquid propane gas fuels are allowed.)
  • Smoking in vegetated areas, except within an enclosed vehicle or a developed recreation site or stopped in an area devoid of vegetation at least 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.
Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

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