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

(John Wilson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Motorcyclist killed in NB I-15 crash in Davis County; lanes reopened

A motorcyclist was killed in a crash that temporarily closed northbound Interstate 15 Tuesday morning.
6 hours ago
The aftermath of the 15 to 20 acre Magna fire. (Credit: Isaiah Salazar)...
Michael Houck

Firefighters battled against two smaller fires Sunday night

While fire crews battled against the Deuel Creek Fire in Centerville, other first responders handled two other blazes Sunday night.
1 day ago
An RV completely burns down on I-16, shutting down southbound traffic. (Credit: UDOT)...
Michael Houck

RV completely burns down on I-15

On Monday afternoon, an RV was engulfed in flames shutting down Interstate 15.
1 day ago
Refugees study for the US citizenship test....
Erin Cox

Rolling the dice for citizenship: Refugees join SLC English program for citizenship application

There’s a unique program here in Utah designed to help refugees and immigrants with their citizenship applications.
1 day ago
Chief Craft on Traverse...
Ladd Egan

‘It’s just primed to burn right now’: Lehi fire chief urges caution with fireworks during windy conditions

After the devastating fire in 2020, Lehi fire officials are worried about another blaze hitting their community.
1 day ago
The burn scars of the Deuel Creek Fire....
Jed Boal

‘There’s smoke everywhere’: residents recall evacuating during the Deuel Creek Fire

“I came out running and looked up, and there’s just like smoke everywhere;” residents tell their stories of evacuating late at night during the Deuel Creek fire.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Big fines expected for those who light fireworks illegally