Climate change, weather anomalies are making wildfires harder to control

  • Source: The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Published: 06/17/2019 12:00 AM

Freaky weather conditions unleashed by climate change and “never seen before” in Utah’s highlands are making wildfires more difficult and dangerous to control because fire managers’ experience is becoming increasingly irrelevant for predicting the behavior of blazes. That’s a key takeaway from a new analysis of one of the most threatening wildfires in Utah history. Last year’s Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires started with lightning strikes two weeks and 6 miles apart around Mount Nebo and persisted as tiny blazes that U.S. Forest Service officials opted against stomping out as they burned harmlessly for several days last September. Until, that is, unrelenting high winds kicked the flames into high gear. The political fallout in the wake of what became the Pole Creek/Bald Mountain “megafire” was radioactive, fraught with second-guessing and even calls for criminal charges against federal officials for allegedly “letting” the flames get out of control.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe