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Salt Lake City Issues Citywide Ban On Personal Fireworks

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City leaders have issued a citywide ban on Class C fireworks, also known as common fireworks, and novelty fireworks until further notice.

The announcement was made during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“They threaten life, safety and property here in Salt Lake City,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Mendenhall said these fireworks are most commonly sold at neighborhood fireworks stands, including smoke bombs and sparklers.

The city has also banned open burning, including recreational fires, which is any fire that’s built outside for the purpose of cooking or warming.

These bans will remain in effect until further notice.

““I have full confidence in the assessment of fire danger made by Battalion Chief Allred and Chief Lieb this year,” said Mendenhall. “There has never been a greater concern by these experts about the threat of fire to Salt Lake City.”

Mendenhall said these recommendations were made with the health and safety of residents, businesses and firefighters in mind.

“I know this might feel like a loss of a beloved tradition for all of those Salt Lakers who love their driveway fireworks, and I understand it’s disappointing, but given our current climate, it’s simply not worth the risk,” said Mendenhall.

The mayor invited residents to attend one of the public firework demonstrations that will be held at Jordan Park on July 4th and at Liberty Park on July 24th.

Fire Chief Karl Lieb with the Salt Lake City Fire Department said firefighters have responded to 14 working fire incidents in the last 8 days, adding that we’re just entering the hottest part of the summer.

“For fire crews, quite frankly, it’s no longer if there’s going to be a fire, it’s when there’s going to be the next fire,” he said.

Lieb said not only are firework ignitions a risk to urban interface sage, brush or cheat grass — they’re a risk in our own backyards.

“This is a hazard that we have some control over. It’s a hazard that’s completely within our means to mitigate, which is why we feel a ban on all fireworks and novelties is appropriate and necessary,” said Lieb. “Salt Lake City is taking this action to try and eliminate and reduce any loss of life, injury or property loss this summer.”

The Fire Chief said he understands there will be people who violate the bans, but he said “it is not justification to ignore this common sense.”

Laura Briefer, director for the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, joined the Mayor and Chief to discuss the detrimental impacts of wildfires on water resources.

“Just as wildfires have negative impacts to air quality and property, they can also affect the quantity and quality of water available,” she said.

Briefer said water supplies can be adversely affected during the active burning of a wildfire and for many years afterwards.

“We all have a part to play in protecting our water resources during this drought by following fire restrictions, being fire wise and vigorously applying indoor and outdoor water conservation measures,” she said.

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