Unified Fire urges firework safety as Pioneer Day window opens

Jul 22, 2022, 9:06 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

MIDVALE, UtahStarting Friday, fireworks can be legally set off in designated parts of the state. 

Before choosing to do that, firefighters, towns and cities are encouraging people to go to a professional fireworks show rather than setting off their own fireworks. In the case something goes wrong, there’s firefighters on standby. 

If you’re setting off fireworks yourself, officials with Unified Fire Authority said make sure you are in a zone that allows fireworks and that you are using legal fireworks.

This, plus being aware of weather conditions is something that’s important.

One example of fireworks danger, aerials can carry 100 yards or so in a wind.

Ryan Love with UFA said the last Fourth of July, fire departments were busy, with over 800 calls in just a four-hour span on the holiday.

Now a few weeks later, Unified Fire officials say vegetation and the state is even drier. Temperatures are up — including 104 on Friday in Salt Lake City — and the fuels have been pre-heating. Officials said that’s another reason people should take preventative steps to protect their homes as cannot control other people in the neighborhood or if a fire breaks out near where one lives. 

“That has been dried and has been pre-heating all summer long and is readily available to to explode under certain conditions and under fire conditions. So you want to make sure that people clean up this area right here, clean up all these weeds — at least 30 to 50 feet from the edge of their house — so that way there’s no continuous fuel during this 24th of July,” Love said.

He also said people should not be deceived by green. That is, while you may see some of the fuel around your home is green, that does not mean it won’t catch on fire. 

If you do start a fire, you could be liable for damages. Those caught using illegal fireworks or in restricted areas face fines up to $1,000.

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Unified Fire urges firework safety as Pioneer Day window opens