The mounting cost of the Brian Head Fire
Southern Utah is burning.
The forests surrounding the ski resort town of Brian Head were filled with dry, bark-beetle-killed timber. For decades, environmentalist groups had thwarted logging of the dead trees, which state politicians said created the perfect tinderbox for a large-scale wildfire.
All it needed was a spark.
That came on June 17 when a yet-to-be-identified man was attempting to clear his property with the help of a weed torch. Dry conditions were accompanied by high winds and record-challenging temperatures. The fire quickly grew out of control.