CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Dave & Dujanovic: Are fireworks on Pioneer Day worth the risk?

Jul 23, 2020, 6:10 PM
traverse mountain fire...
The fire forced the evacuations of at least 42 homes in the Traverse Mountain area of Lehi and Alpine. Photo: Stephanie Avis, KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY —  According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 12,900 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in 2017. So, with all the wildfires burning in Utah right now, is it worth the risk by setting off fireworks for Pioneer Day?

Within the past week, two teens were charged with lighting fireworks in a restricted area in June.  That sparked a blaze that led to 100 homes being evacuated on Traverse Mountain in Lehi. The cost of the fire is now $415,000.

Tooele County Fire Warden Dan Walton joined Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to talk about the cost of illegal fireworks and why the restrictions are important.

Wildfire costs in Utah in 2020

“If a juvenile lights off a firework and it causes extensive damage — or even an adult — do they end up having to pay the bill if a couple of homes are burned down?” Debbie asked Walton.

“Typically when we see large fire bills, those most oftentimes get charged to a person’s homeowners insurance or that person may just end up in bankruptcy,” Walton said. “It’s extremely expensive to put out a fire. We have to get that money back somehow, and it’s up to our legal teams to help figure that out.”

Walton said the cost of wildfire suppression in Utah so far this year is $18.5 million.

“Holy smokes,” Dave exclaimed.

Walton said humans ignited 634 of the fires in Utah, which represents 82% of all fires this year.

Fireworks and fines

“How often are fireworks to blame?” Dave asked.

“I don’t have the specific number on fireworks . . . We see people get a little bit too excited, and they just go around lighting fireworks where they’re not supposed to. That’s where we start seeing the bigger fires,” Walton said. 

He said firefighters can respond to blazes in residential areas quickly and keep costs down.

“If someone is caught setting off fireworks in an illegal area, what’s the fine for that?” Debbie asked.

“That is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, and that does not include any damage or fire-suppression costs,” Walton said.

Find out more about fireworks restriction areas in Utah here.

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

A traffic stop in Salt Lake City led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man who was in possession of il...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City traffic stop leads to drug bust, illegal gun recovered

Salt Lake City police say a traffic stop Thursday resulted in a 21-year-old man being arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
1 day ago
Video footage of a traffic stop that led to the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that def...
Travis Caldwell, Jay Croft, Eric Bradner and Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence. (CNN) — The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. During the initial encounter between Nichols and Memphis police, an officer can be seen […]
1 day ago
A 15-year-old girl was killed in a crosswalk on Friday when she was hit by a school bus in Sandy. T...
Simone Seikaly

Jordan High student killed in Sandy crosswalk by school bus

Sandy police said they do not yet know how or why the student was hit while walking in a crosswalk on Friday.
1 day ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
1 day ago
The Lehi Fire Department reports major structural damage to the interior of a home after a fire eru...
Simone Seikaly

“Major damage to home” after early morning explosion, fire in Lehi

Two people were injured in the blast and fire according to Lehi fire officials, who believe the blast happened in the basement.
1 day ago
The Utah Department of Public Safety together with the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP have called th...
Simone Seikaly

Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols

The Utah agencies denounced the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man that died in a hospital after an altercation with Memphis police.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Dave & Dujanovic: Are fireworks on Pioneer Day worth the risk?