6 Feb 2008, 1:35am
Latest Fire News
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Utah Fires in ‘07 Still Leave Mark

By T.J. BURNHAM, Western Farmer Stockman

UTAH’S 500,000-acre fire loss of rangeland ranks high among the West’s most devastating agricultural disasters of 2007.

“These are lands rendered virtually unusable for productive grazing,” says Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham. “The loss of the use of these valuable lands is forcing some ranchers out of business and will have negative impacts on local rural economies as well as wildlife populations.”

Losses due to the fires reached deeply into ranchers’ pockets, according to Utah Partners for Conservation and Development figures. Damages include:

Utah’s 2007 wildfires burned more than 7 million acres
Many ranchers were forced out of business
78 ranches stricken
28 ranches forced to sell off livestock
299 cattle killed
78 sheep lost
1,305 head of livestock remain unaccounted for
$2.3 million in damage to fencing, corrals, water systems and more
38,500 tons of additional feed needed for livestock
$3.8 million spent on needed feed

Four deaths were reported in the massive Milford Flat fire in central Utah…

Utah’s 2007 fire season was a recordsetter in terms of the number of fires fought: more than 66,500 separate fires burned more than 7 million acres. … [more]



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