18 Firework-Related Fires Reported In 3 Days Across Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Fourth of July was a success for firefighters in the Salt Lake Valley, reporting few firework-related fires. But across the state, it’s a different story, and the threat of more fires with dry weather has firefighters anxious.
More than 75 percent of wildfires in 2020 have been caused by humans.
Officials said the wind and dryness aren’t helping.
“The Traverse Fire behind us was caused by fireworks,” said Kait Webb with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
The Traverse Fire is one of 544 human-caused fires across Utah this year.
“We did have 68 starts over the weekend, and 18 were firework-related. Firefighters were very busy,” said Webb.
Webb said this is one of the driest years on record. She hoped Utahns will be mindful of fireworks as Pioneer Day approaches.
“We were quite successful this year with the help of the civilians to maintain those areas,” said Tony Stowe, captain with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.
Stowe thinks their fire safety campaign raised a lot of awareness and was to credit for the low number of firework incidents over the holiday weekend.
“Majority of what we respond to are firework-related injuries,” Stowe said.
Firefighters were all looking ahead and preparing for the next round in just over two weeks, praying the only sparks they see are up in the sky.
“Let’s try not to have a single firework start. We have already had enough this year,” said Webb. “They have already caused evacuations and put a lot of the public and first responders at risk.”
The next open window for fireworks starts July 22.
Reminder! Discharge of fireworks is BANNED STATEWIDE until July 22! pic.twitter.com/PxfjLIqfG4
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 6, 2020
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