Temperatures pushing 100. Dry winds. Vegetation parched after an arid winter and record-setting spring heat. Add the stupidity of some humans, and you have a recipe for a wildfire season with horrific potential for destruction.
State and federal officials have outlawed fires and fireworks on all public land and unincorporated private land. A long list of municipalities have also banned those activities. But officials can do nothing to prevent irresponsible hotshots from putting all Utahns at risk by firing guns out in the brush. Target shooters sparked a blaze near Saratoga Springs that has sent 2,500 residents fleeing from their homes and so far has scorched 5,600 acres. Five hundred firefighters are still battling that fire. It is the 20th this year caused by firearms use.
Conservative Utah legislators, in their usual frenzy to protect the all-important right to keep and shoot guns, have dictated that no state officials other than themselves can "enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation or rule pertaining to firearms." Cities can, and should, limit shooting to approved ranges. Provo has limited shooting to indoor ranges.