Monday AM headlines: Four new Utah wildfires start within 24 hours

Four new Utah wildfires start within 24 hours

Four Utah wildfires started within 24 hours of each other over the weekend. The wildlife season started later this year due to longer winter moisture and snowpack, but with recent temperatures going over 100 F, fire danger has rapidly increased.

There are currently at least 14 active wildfires in Utah, which are scattered across the state. One of the new fires is the Bettridge Fire, burning just north of Wendover, which has grown to about 600 acres as of Saturday.

That fire was caused by lightning, but almost 200 Utah wildfires have reportedly been human-caused this season, which is more than the naturally caused fires.

Advice to prevent wildfires includes making sure campfires are fully out, not letting chains from a towed trailer drag on the pavement and create sparks, and not parking on dry grass.

Sen. Lee asks for review of protections for overseas military personnel

An amendment sponsored by Utah Sen. Mike Lee was attached to the defense spending bill that cleared the Senate Thursday. The amendment requires the secretary of state to review the protections in place for U.S. service members stationed overseas.

Under the Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Japan, when a U.S. service member is arrested for an alleged crime committed off base in Japan, they’re subject to the Japanese criminal justice system under the bilateral agreement. This does not include the right to have an attorney present during questioning.

Under Sen. Lee’s amendment, which was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act and approved Thursday, the Secretary of State would be required to review the 10 countries with the largest U.S. armed forces presence and provide an assessment of the protections service members receive there under the Status of Forces Agreement.

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