Official expects Utah's fire season to be normal

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An official says he expects this summer's fire season in Utah to be normal.

Ed Delgado, the Eastern Great Basin predictive service program manager, guesses wildfires could scorch between 200,000 and 300,000 acres in the state this summer. If 2009 turns out to be normal, it'll be thanks to intense periods of snow in the winter and rain in the spring.

In 2007 -- an above-average fire season -- 629,000 acres burned. Last year just 29,000 acres burned in a below-average season.

Delgado says one concern this year is dead trees in northern Utah that have been ravaged by beetles.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock says the agency is fully staffed to fight wildfires -- all vacant positions were filled by April.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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