Firework Sales High Despite Extreme Fire Danger
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fire officials said there were 37 new wildfires over the weekend in Utah. More than 20 of them were human-caused and, like the Traverse Fire, some were started by fireworks.
Fire danger is extremely high right now because of dry conditions, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping people from shooting off fireworks for the 4th of July.
Kim Jeffrey runs a Phantom fireworks stand in the Fort Union area with her family.
They just opened up a few days ago and with so many businesses struggling, Jeffrey’s is not one of them.
“Business is just really great right now,” said Jeffrey. “We were all surprised at how much business we had over the weekend. We’ve been talking about it all morning.”
Jeffrey said on a typical June day, they might make $300. But last Friday, they brought in $2,000.
“I think they’re doing it because all the shows are canceled this year and so everybody wants to celebrate at home,” said Jeffrey.
Firefighters like Matthew McFarland with the Unified Fire Authority, were afraid that’s the case.
And with an already busy fire season, more people setting off fireworks could just make it worse, he said.
Here's a helpful map: Fireworks are illegal in the areas SHOWN IN RED until July 2. (HINT: It's ILLEGAL EVERYWHERE in Utah right now) We're counting on law enforcement agencies throughout the state to strictly enforce state law. #ffsljc pic.twitter.com/H2BLtUFTLG
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) June 30, 2020
“It’s absolutely scary,” said McFarland. “We’ve seen community damage done with homes lost with just simple smoke bombs.”
This year, you can only light fireworks from July 2 to July 5 and again from July 22 to July 25.
It’s limited, but doesn’t seem to be slowing people down.
“People love their fireworks,” said Jeffrey. “They kind of sell themselves in a way.”
Firefighters said they love the fourth as much as anyone, but maybe this year, they hope people find different ways to celebrate.
“We would always recommend historically that people enjoy a professional show,” said McFarland. “Maybe this isn’t the year to enjoy fireworks at all.”
If you’d like to know if it’s even legal to set off fireworks in your neighborhood this year, UFA has an interactive map on their website where you can zoom down right to your street.
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