LOCAL NEWS

Big fines expected for those who light fireworks illegally

Jun 22, 2018, 7:29 PM | Updated: 9:20 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah – It’s already a challenging wildfire season in Utah, and fireworks will likely cause more fires in the weeks to come. Most of our communities already have fireworks restrictions in place, and there are new statewide restrictions this year.

“It’s been a busy season already,” said Paul Brockbank, interim fire marshal for West Jordan.

Brockbank met with KSL to talk about the conditions for fires over the summer months, especially with fireworks coming up.

Looking over a field of tall, dry grass in the western part of the community, he said, “This gets to be a little concerning for the fire department.”

It’s been very hot and dry in all of our Utah neighborhoods over the last few weeks. Firefighters expected the dangerous wildfire conditions to last, because the long-term forecast looks the same.

“We’re expecting it to burn,” said Eric Holmes with the Unified Fire Authority. “It’s just a matter of when and where, and how bad.”

People who plan to shoot off legal fireworks need to make sure they’re lighting them in a legal place. Most communities have already posted restrictions.

County maps should have all been out on June 1. Municipalities have released them in recent days.

In Salt Lake County, all of the areas at the edge of the urban-wilderness interface are off-limits for fireworks, as are some neighborhoods. In West Jordan, all of the area west of U-111 is off-limits for fireworks.

“The wildland-urban interface where we have lots of dry grass and things that run through development. That’s what becomes the issue,” said Brockbank. “We don’t want to create a fire hazard in the middle of a subdivision.”

In 2017, West Jordan banned all fireworks last Pioneer Day weekend because of a fiery 4th of July and persistent dry conditions.

“It was just an extremely, extremely busy time throughout the entire valley,” said Brockbank.

“We’re expecting another bad July 4th,” said Holmes. “We want everybody to be safe and happy and celebrate their holiday. Take an extra moment to make sure that we’re doing it safely.”

In response to those fires started by fireworks last summer, state legislators gave cities and counties more authority to restrict fireworks. They also limited the number of days fireworks can be set off: now, only July 2-5 and July 22-25, cutting the number of allowable days by nearly half.

Lawmakers also raised the fine from $750 to $1000 if you’re caught violating the rules.

“People should be aware that they can be fined quite a hefty sum,” said Holmes.

That’s on top of any damages you could be responsible for if you start a fire.

West Jordan and other communities plan to be proactive and put firefighters on patrol in the days surrounding the holidays.

“They are specifically just to respond to fireworks calls,” said the fire marshal. “Two teams of two that will be out doing fireworks patrol.”

If you are lighting fireworks in a legal place, make sure you have plenty of water nearby for an emergency. If you are lighting aerial fireworks, make sure they cannot tip over and shoot sideways once you light them.

“Just be safe and sane,” said Brockbank.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Humane Society of Utah makes adoption plea after shelter fills with dogs

The Humane Society of Utah is asking for help from the community, after finding their kennels so full they are struggling to take in any more dogs.
1 day ago
Christopher Browning in court....
Daniella Rivera & Keira Farrimond

Police were warned rapist could reoffend 24 years ago. Now he’s charged again.

A convicted rapist paroled in December faced a Utah judge today on 10 new felony charges including aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.
1 day ago
Shooting in the Glendale neighborhood (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

One person in critical condition in SLC shooting

One person is in critical condition from a shooting in Glendale.
1 day ago
emergency lights...
Larry D. Curtis

Utah man arrested for rape of child after toddler diagnosed with STI

A Utah man has been arrested on suspicion of rape of a 2-year-old child after she was found to have a sexually transmitted infection.
1 day ago
Utah is working on a plan to administer federal funds to reimburse food stamp fraud victims. (KSL T...
Ladd Egan

Food stamp fraud victims could be reimbursed due to new federal funding

Utah is currently submitting plans for how to administer federal funds to reimburse food stamp fraud victims.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Weber County Sheriff’s Office will sell off confiscated guns

The Weber County Sheriff's Office will soon start selling off some of the guns locked up in evidence.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Big fines expected for those who light fireworks illegally