We read about and see smoke from the Neffs Fire, first reported on Sept. 22 and now burning over 60 acres. According to FOX 13, officials have assigned 131 personnel to contain the fire, and their resources include four helicopters, four fixed-wing aircraft and five engines. Containment was 20% as of Sunday.
According to Utah Fire Information, last year Utah had 1,027 wildfires with 67% of them human-caused.
A Public Lands Protection Permit may be a start to remind people of the dangers of wilderness: self-rescue and basic first aid, interaction with wildlife, weather changes and fire awareness. With our dry lands and more usage, care must be required.
We require permits for users of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and boats; these permits mainly focus on safe operations. They need to include wilderness protection practices. We need to add a permit for hikers, backpackers and jeepers. Fire is politically neutral. A permit incentive could include free access to areas such as Millcreek Canyon. Acres of wildfires and the cost of suppression is certainly more pricey than user fees.
Diana Goodell and John Parker, Salt Lake City
Letter: Permits should be required for wilderness access /p>