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Low rainfall increasing Utah wildfire danger

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Fire dangers are ramping up across the State as wild grass continues to brown.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Fire dangers are ramping up across the Utah as wild grass continues to brown.

ABC 4 Utah is monitoring the situation because wildfires burned almost 500,000 acres in the State last year.

Meteorologist Adam Carroll says Salt Lake City is about half an inch dryer than it was at this same time last year.  Tensions are rising across Utah as the clouds continue to withhold precious rain.

Salt Lake city is 2.61 inches below normal as of January 1, 2013.  The rainfall shortage is setting up the State for a potentially dangerous wildfire season.

“We just had a fire in Alpine that was caused and we just have to be really careful,” said a 17-year-old girl from Alpine.  She is referring to the 2,200 acre Quail Fire that erupted last July.  It forced hundreds of people from their homes and caused $1.3 million in damage.  Sparks from a working bachhoe started the fire.

“I just hope people are careful when they're out camping.  Don't do anything stupid to start a fire,” said Matthew Mangum.

Nature causes half of all wildfires. The other half are human caused. Wildfire dangers are high because of dry conditions creating tinder box-like conditions.

Carroll says no rain is in the forecast for major portions of Utah over the next seven days.

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