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PM News Brief: Wildfire Preparedness, Utah Transportation Authority Oversight, and Rise in COVID-19


Monday evening June 21, 2021

state

Utah sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Utah is seeing a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates. This is according to data from the state Department of Health. The weekly average of daily new cases is currently 293. The positivity rate is now 5.5%. Both figures are up from a week ago. Over 60% of eligible Utahns have now received at least one dose of vaccine and just over half are now fully immunized. – Caroline ballard

Utah Transit Authority Ends Federal Government Oversight

The Utah Transit Authority will no longer be overseen by the federal government. In 2017, the transportation authority and the United States Attorney’s Office in Utah agreed to the surveillance. Prior to that, UTA had been investigated for such things as its service operations, the use of federal funds, and grant applications. As a result, an independent law firm took a look at how he was doing his business. In a letter on Monday, the prosecutor’s office said it was satisfied with the results of the surveillance and the UTA’s commitment to “do it right.” – Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Plane crash in Tooele County kills two, forest fire

A small plane crash in Tooele County killed two people and started a forest fire. The accident happened Thursday evening. A small plane crashed southwest of Salt Lake City, near Rush Valley. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The identity of the deceased was not immediately disclosed. According to Utah Fire Info, the Morgan Canyon Fire burned 157 acres over mostly steep and rugged terrain. – Associated press

Responsibly Recreating in Utah Reservoirs

At least four people drowned in Utah tanks last week. Now state and local authorities are urging people to use caution when recreating themselves this summer. Three of those deaths have occurred at Deer Creek Reservoir since June 17. None of them wore life jackets. There was also a big blow to Jordanelle over the weekend. State law requires everyone to have a life jacket handy on the water. Devan Chavez, of the state’s Parks and Recreation Division, said they all appeared to be “unfortunate accidents.” He said it may sound simple, but wearing life jackets saves lives. Read the full story. – Lexi Peery, Saint-Georges

Region / Nation

People overestimate forest fire preparedness

New research from the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder shows how residents of mountain communities can underestimate wildfire risk and overestimate their preparedness. In the town of Bailey, Colorado, 22% of those surveyed rated their property as high risk, while professional wildfire appraisals showed a rate of 61%. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Press Office


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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion