News From the Past



Back to the
History Page


Forest and Forestry in the American States
A Reference Anthology

Compiled by the Association of State Foresters
Ralph R. Widner - Editor

Brigham Young, beset by destructive burns in Big Cottonwood Canyon in 1856, proclaimed that "All persons are forbidden to make or kindle fires at any place in canyon except on the camp grounds."

Measures taken a quarter century later were not as direct nor as effective, for in 1879 Major J. W. Powell reported observing on one of his expeditions in Utah "three fires... each of which took more timber than was used by the people since settlement." Settlers of Vernal tell of a fire in 1881 that burned nearly all summer in the Uinta Mountains, beginning on the east end and burning west for more than 60 miles.