Our beloved mountains are on fire. How about some Utah Department of Transportation highway signs letting people know of the extreme fire danger so another fire somewhere else around here doesn’t get started? That would be a good start. Then how about full-page ads in the papers and posters educating people about the extreme fire danger and our exceptional drought and that we’re the most drought-stricken state in the nation? How about urging the state to have information on all the digital interstate highway signs? How about urging our representatives and governor to help get this done and get people educated about the very real, very serious reality we’re living in?

I toured Pack Creek on Friday because on Wednesday I was at my close friend’s house helping her prepare to evacuate. When the fire hit the ranch, we had to flee. Pack Creek is forever changed. The destruction is immense and now our mountains are burning. This could’ve been avoided. I called out so many times to federal agencies, local governments, and the state that we needed to get prepared, we needed to be proactive …but no fire restrictions and no educational campaigns were enacted. I talked with the BLM fire manager on June 6, asking why no fire restrictions. He said they’d be talking more about it Monday. Southwest Utah implemented fire restrictions weeks ago. Just last week, Governor Cox asked us to pray instead of actually doing something to protect this state.

At my friend’s house, the fire burned 30 feet away. It survived but others didn’t. I packed up my belongings when the fire started raging up the Pack Creek southern slope. We got ready to evacuate. I have friends in Spanish Valley who packed bags to get ready. They took it seriously.

Entire cities have burned elsewhere. My beloved Redwoods in Santa Cruz were torched. We were in California for a month. Burn scars were everywhere. “NO CAMPFIRES” “NO TARGET SHOOTING” signs were everywhere. You can’t even use a cookstove without a permit! I saw millions of dead trees and entire areas of once-beautiful forests and rivers now scorched. I saw remnants of homes with only chimneys left standing. I got home last week and now one of Moab’s cherished historical places is destroyed. I’m so angry. When will we learn?

Kiley Miller

Northern San Juan County