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Firefighters Encourage People To Be Careful With Spent Fireworks

Jul 5, 2019, 5:06 PM | Updated: Jul 16, 2019, 5:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Extra firefighters were on duty last night in Salt Lake County in anticipation of a fiery Fourth of July.  They put out several fires related to fireworks, but not nearly as many as they expected.  But, they don’t want the public to let their guard down.  Fireworks are legal again tonight until 11, and then not again until two days before Pioneer Day.

“Notoriously, that’s our busiest night of the year,” said Unified Fire Authority spokesman Matt McFarland. “We see a lot of activity.”

The Fourth of July means legal fireworks over several days, when fuels are drying out.

“Usually a huge uptick in fire activity,” he said. “So much so, that as a department we added four extra apparatus to our staffing.”

The Unified Fire Authority last night went out on 21 fire-related incidents with 32 of their units. But, nothing got away from them.  That’s only three-quarters of the fires they had to chase last year on Independence Day, and about two-thirds of the fires they put out two years ago.

But, nobody should be complacent.

“The fact that we did have fires last night lends itself to the fact it can happen,” said Mcfarland.

They doused several dumpster fires suspected to have been started by spent fireworks thrown in the trash bin.

In West Jordan, Jesus Pederoza was working in his reception hall around midnight, preparing for an event when someone told him the dumpster outside was on fire.  That wasn’t long after he heard fireworks nearby.

“There were some people over here doing fireworks,” said Pederoza.

He and his family attacked the fire with extinguishers before firefighters even arrived.

“We were lucky that we have those extinguishers, and my family was here to help me to shut down the fire,” he said.

Firefighters are urging everyone using fireworks to soak the spent fireworks in water overnight before throwing them away.

“You’ll have a soggy mess in the morning,” said McFarland. “But, it’s fine. Then dump that soggy mess in your trashcan. But you know that it’s out.”

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Firefighters Encourage People To Be Careful With Spent Fireworks