Draper fire captain: Fire danger higher now than on July 4th

Jul 24, 2023, 7:37 PM | Updated: 7:39 pm

DRAPER, Utah — Dry grasses and expected gusts of wind have Draper’s fire department worried about fireworks on this Pioneer Day.

“We had a good spring, now all that grass is tall—really tall—and now it’s dry,” said Draper Fire Captain Brian Garn.

Garn said the fire danger has increased over the last 20 days since the Fourth of July.

“On the Fourth, we weren’t seeing these dry conditions, and our temperatures were also down,” he said.

After weeks of hot temperatures, the grasses and other vegetation have dried out.

“Even if the grass is green now, it’s dry,” Garn added. “Everything will burn.”

Garn urged residents across Utah to obey their city’s fireworks restrictions map. Even when lighting fireworks in an unrestricted area, he said to be aware of your surroundings and consider postponing if the winds make conditions unpredictable.

Here’s where to watch this year’s Pioneer Day fireworks and shows

“We’re expecting to get higher winds tonight,” he said. “I’ve seen upwards of 20 miles-per-hour winds, which can move the fireworks and embers a ways away, and you don’t want them to end up in your neighbor’s yard and catch their house on fire. So we just want to be careful. If in doubt, don’t do it.”

Draper firefighters especially want to prevent wildfires along the benches, warning that they can quickly become devastating once brushfires spread to the mountains.

So far this summer, Draper firefighters have only battled one fireworks-caused fire of note, which briefly burned along the Porter Rockwell Trail in late June.

Other than that, Garn said people have been careful and paying attention to the rules.

“People realize that it is serious and can cause a lot of damage that they don’t mean if they misuse the fireworks.”

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Draper fire captain: Fire danger higher now than on July 4th