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Washington, D.C. - NOVEMBER 13: Congressman-elect John Curtis, R-Utah, coordinates logistics in his new office on the hill during his first day in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13, 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Diaz Meyer)
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Rep. Curtis speaks to Congress on Utah’s summer of wildfires

Washington, D.C. - NOVEMBER 13: Congressman-elect John Curtis, R-Utah, coordinates logistics in his new office on the hill during his first day in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13, 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Diaz Meyer)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, spoke in front of Congress to raise awareness regarding Utah’s summer of fighting fires and how we can improve.

“This fire season has been one of the worst our state has ever seen,” said the 3rd district representative. “Many small towns and cities are overcome with challenges, as they work out confusing jurisdictional responsibilities of the state and Federal government.”

Curtis is calling for forest management reform to help reduce the risk of the fires that would potentially start in the first place.

“While we won’t prevent every fire, we need forest management reforms to reduce the risk of fires,” he said.

Curtis also mentioned that local officials should be spoken about more when discussing potential resolutions.

“Let’s not forget the value of our local officials and their roles in forest management decisions,” Curtis added. “They know better than anyone, the challenges they face in their own backyards.”

Utah’s summer of wildfires

Utah has experienced an unprecedented amount of devastation in terms of acres burned this summer.

Two massive fires that have been burning for weeks are the Bald Mountain and Pole Creek Fires.

The Bald Mountain and Pole Creek Fires recently caused mandatory evacuations for multiple communities in Utah County and are currently 76 percent and 65 percent contained, respectively.

The Pole Creek Fire started in early Sept., while the Bald Mountain Fire reportedly started on Aug. 24th and the estimated containment date for both fires is Oct. 10th.

As of today, Utah County is experiencing poor conditions for crews fighting the fires, due to the warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds being forecast by the National Weather Service.

More information on wildfire incidents can be viewed at Utah Wildfire Info.