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Utah's Wildfires

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Early on this summer public land managers and fire officials in Utah knew this would be a dangerous fire year. Dry, hot, and windy conditions prevailed. All it would take was a spark.

Now we're in the midst of what they feared.

The deadly Neola fire in Eastern Utah showed what can happen when conditions are ripe for wildfires to explode. But, what occurred earlier this week in Central Utah confirms how horrendously volatile conditions are.

The Milford Flat wildfire is the largest in Utah history. That a hundred mile stretch of freeway would be shut down when thick smoke suddenly turned day to night, exemplifies how vulnerable humans are to Mother Nature's fury.

It is notable that the Milford Flat fire has destroyed mostly rangeland, while sadly killing countless grazing livestock. Still, while scores of structures have been threatened, only a handful of buildings have been damaged or destroyed. It speaks to the ability of courageous firefighters to prevent serious damage, as well as the coincidental, even providential nature of fire patterns. Mostly, though, it is a reminder of the vastness of Utah's wide-open spaces.

Now, the thing that should concern everyone is the fact the summer is still young, and the hot, dry and windy weather patterns don't seem to be changing.

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