Utah Fire Officials Expect Busy Night With Fourth Of July Fireworks

Jul 4, 2019, 7:50 PM


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Even with the cooler temperatures and rainstorms, fire officials along the Wasatch Front expect a busy Fourth of July night because of fires started by fireworks.

“We’re expecting a long and crazy night,” said Ryan Love with Unified Fire Authority. “Every year we stay up until about three in morning anticipating the next call.”

Unified Fire is in charge of fire suppression for 14 municipalities in Salt Lake County, as well as unincorporated areas of the county. Officials said previous years have shown they can expect a more than 1,000 percent increase in fire-related responses on the holiday.

Last year, Unified Fire dispatched 85 crews to respond to fires or other incidents on July 4. In 2017, the number was even higher, with 99 crews called out. For comparison, in all of 2018 the agency had an average of 6.3 calls per day – less than a tenth of the calls on the holiday.

To handle the expected increase, Unified Fire has called in 16 extra firefighters and 4 brush trucks.

The worry is that there may be a false sense of security this year because of the lower-than-average temperatures and near-record amounts of rainfall in the spring.

That could have some people believing that there’s a diminished fire danger.

“In fact it’s the opposite,” Love said. “There’s more growth. There’s more possibility for things to light on fire and because of that we want people to be more mindful, especially this Fourth of July—and the wind outside doesn’t help either.”

Layton City’s fire department is already experiencing an increase in activity.

During a 48-hour period ending Thursday morning, crews took 61 calls for service. During the same timeframe last year, crews only responded to 31 calls.

“We sent home some tired firefighters after the last two days,” said Battalion Chief Jason N. Cook with Layton City Fire Department. “They ran about three days’ worth of calls over a two-day period.”

Some of those incidents were related to fireworks, Cook said. He asks residents to use caution so that fire crews don’t get overwhelmed.

“We run into circumstances where our crews get stretched so thin, that had that next call in, we would have been reliant on one of our bordering communities to do mutual aid with us,” Cook said. “(That) unfortunately increases response times to whatever that 911 may have been.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Members of the Stansbury Park community came together Saturday night to help a pair of stranded far...

Shelby Lofton

Stansbury Park store employees, locals rally together to help stranded farmers

The Tooele County community came to the rescue of a couple of strangers Saturday night.

2 hours ago

Utah State GOP Chair Robert Axson expects turnout to be north of 100,000 people statewide for Super...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah Republicans ‘confident’ for caucus night Super Tuesday

Utahns are heading out Tuesday to cast their votes for who they want for President during Super Tuesday. 

2 hours ago

Eagle Mountain homes still cleaning up tumbleweeds, days after the windstorm covered homes....

Garna Mejia

Eagle Mountain residents are still digging themselves out of tumbleweeds

Eagle Mountain residents are still cleaning up thousands of tumbleweeds that blew on their doorsteps during the weekend storm.

2 hours ago

FILE - Utah's 2024 legislative session. (KSL TV)...

Shara Park

Opposition groups call for Gov. Cox to veto employee firearm bill for teachers, school staff

Opponents of HB119 are calling for Utah's Gov. Spencer Cox to veto.

2 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Deanie Wimmer

Sterling Scholar program’s impressive legacy

From the Navajo reservation to Harvard to the University of Utah – a Utah student makes impressive gain with help from KSL/Deseret News Sterling Scholar program.

3 hours ago

After a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon, the CEO of Varex Imaging, an international X-ray busin...

Brianna Chavez

CEO of Varex Imaging says he’s focused on helping employees after workplace shooting

After a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon, the CEO of Varex Imaging, an international X-ray business, told KSL the aftermath has been sad but is focused on how to move forward.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah Fire Officials Expect Busy Night With Fourth Of July Fireworks