SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Even before fireworks started a wind-whipped wildfire in Utah County over the weekend, state officials urged Utahns to use caution with fireworks to avoid sparking a fire.
The official fire season in Utah lasts roughly from June 1 to Oct. 31, with varying restrictions across the state to prevent wildfires. The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings — a dangerous combination of warm weather, low humidity and strong winds creating higher likelihoods of fires — in much of the southern and eastern parts of the state.
NEW FIRE RESTRICTIONS IN UTAH COUNTY. Due to High fire danger & incidence of fires, a closure to some target shooting in areas shown. 100% of fire starts in these areas so far this year, related to target shooting. Check restrictions details statewide at: https://t.co/hvuztg2t6f pic.twitter.com/Wk14nFFhUU
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) June 25, 2020
As of Sunday afternoon, there are several active fires across the state — including one caused by fireworks in Traverse Mountain and another near Utah Lake sparked by lightning. To the south, the Canal Fire was picked up again by wind after being considered 100% contained.
Utah law permits Class-C fireworks to be used during two separate windows over the next month: July 2 through July 5 and again July 22 through July 25 — permitting fireworks for Independence Day and Pioneer Day celebrations.
However, each city in Utah can further restrict where residents can light fireworks in order to prevent wildfires in specific areas.
In response to the fire season, and ahead of the holiday weekend, SLC.gov has issued restrictions regarding fireworks in an effort to prevent increased wildfires.
In Salt Lake City, fireworks may only be discharged July 2 through July 5 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. — with an exception of until midnight on July 4. Fireworks will then be restricted until July 22 through July 25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with the same midnight exception on July 24.
When is it legal to discharge fireworks for the 4th?
July 2-July 5
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Except for July 4 when they can be used until midnight
— Utah Public Safety (@UtahDPS) June 28, 2020
Fireworks are restricted in all of the following areas:
- Areas east of 900 East, including the University of Utah campus
- Areas north of South Temple
- City Creek Canyon
- Areas east of 300 West and north of Wall Street through Beck Street all the way to the city limits
- All city parks and wildland urban interface areas
- All areas west of Redwood Road
Salt Lake City Fire notes anyone caught violating these restrictions may be given a $1,000 fine.
Fireworks may only be discharged in approved areas. Fireworks like cherry bombs, Roman candles, skyrockets, bottle rockets, etc. are prohibited.
Salt Lake City Fire strongly encourages to only use fireworks outdoors and to follow the directions on the packaging — not combining any fireworks. The department strongly urges “common sense” protocols: Keep a safe distance, don’t light fireworks while intoxicated, wear safety glasses and don’t use homemade fireworks.
Other fire precautions
Sale Lake City Fire has also issued precautionary measures in regards to cigarette usage to prevent accidental fires. According to its website, SLC Fire notes cigarettes may only be smoked in a vehicle in City Creek Canyon.
The department urges Utahns to properly extinguish all cigarettes before disposing. Littering laws will also be strongly enforced.
Other precautions to avoid accidental fires:
- Avoid parking your car or vehicle in tall grass
- Do not throw lighted cigarettes out of your car
- Ensure chains from trailers are not dragging on the roads, securely attach them to your car