St. George City Council passes new fireworks restrictions map
ST. GEORGE, Utah — The city of St. George is bracing for fire season, and on Thursday evening the city council passed this year’s fireworks restriction map.
St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker, who presented the map at the council meeting, explained how the department is already seeing issues with fireworks and human-caused grass fires.
“We had our first one last night just before midnight down on Mesa Palms, down off Dixie Drive,” Chief Stoker told the council, during his presentation. “Fireworks started a pretty large grass fire down there, so it is the season.”
The updated fireworks restriction map identifies areas in the city where anyone caught lighting off fireworks can face fines, criminal citations, and be stuck with the suppression bill should the fireworks spark any blazes.
Chief Stoker called attention to the fact that the map isn’t just for fireworks.
“It’s any type of ignition sources—so welding, cutting. We’ve had several large fires in the past from construction,” Chief Stoker explained, in a Zoom interview with KSL 5 TV.
He indicated that the department has responded to multiple human-caused blazes recently. In addition to the fireworks-caused fire overnight Wednesday, he said they responded to a human-caused fire at one of the city parks Thursday during the day.
“We’re seeing a rapid increase in growth in these fires this time of year,” Chief Stoker said.
He explained that conditions are already hot, dry, and windy right now, and they wanted to make sure they released the fire ignition and fireworks restriction map as early as they could.
“We like to get these out and try to get the information out to our residents as soon as possible, to get some education on what the restrictions are and where,” he said.
While St. George seems to be tackling the fire restrictions map early, the Salt Lake City Fire Department explained they, too are looking at the restrictions map.
A spokesperson said under state law, agencies must finalize their maps by June 1.
The person said that SLC Fire sat down with employees with the city to look at where fireworks will be restricted this year. He expected that there may be an expansion in certain areas like around the Jordan River, where the grasses are growing taller this year.
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