SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State Forester Brian Cottam said “stupid human tricks” have led to the states’ wildfire bill being double what it usually is.

Cottam says the cost to Utah for this year’s wildfires is projected to be $18 million, while the state’s yearly average is $9 million. Cottam presented the total to the Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, saying the fire that is believed to have been started by someone burning weeds in Brian Head cost $10 million alone.

Cottam says 548 Utah wildfires this year were caused by humans, while 304 were started naturally.

For comparison, Cottam says Nevada has had three human-caused wildfires this year.

Cottam says 192 square miles (497 square kilometers) of land have been burned this year by the human-caused fires.

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