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Firefighters warn about using fireworks over hot, dry Pioneer Day

Jul 7, 2020, 7:02 AM | Updated: 7:05 am
firework...
Utah law determines when residents can legally operate fireworks. This year the window is open between July 2 and July 5 for Independence Day. It opens again July 22 and extends through July 25 for Pioneer Day. Getty Image

SALT LAKE CITY – Unified Fire Authority spokesman Matthew McFarland says while people shot off more fireworks this 4th of July in the Salt Lake Valley than last year, the fires were small. But with hot and dry weather in the future, they’re worried it may not be the same story on Pioneer Day.

“When we had all of this extra call volume coming in related to [the 4th of July]–up to 10 at the same time–about half of those upon arrival, the crew found out that the person who was calling was able to suppress [the fire] because they had a hose available,” McFarland says. 

But firefighters are still worried with Pioneer Day around the corner because many people set off legal fireworks over the Independence Day holiday in restricted areas. 

 

“We’ve got several more weeks of hotter, drier weather between now and then, which is going to make things more volatile and more dangerous. So, the risk is ever increasing as summer progresses, and we want everybody to stay safe,” McFarland says. 

 

He is encouraging people to look up online ahead of time whether they can use fireworks in their neighborhood. 

It’s unclear how many people were cited over the 4th of July, though McFarland says most of the fireworks people used were legal in Utah.      

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Firefighters warn about using fireworks over hot, dry Pioneer Day