Utah firefighters remind locals of firework restrictions

Jun 22, 2023, 6:22 AM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Extremely hot, dry conditions forecast across much of the West through the Four...

Fireworks go off in Herriman on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

HERRIMAN, UTAH — Richard Loy knows exactly how destructive fireworks can be.

On September 2018, kids lighting smoke bombs in the hills near his Herriman home sparked a massive fire. It burned his neighbor’s home to the ground, causing over a hundred thousand dollars in damage to his. But, Loy’s home is still standing.

Lighting smoke bombs in September is illegal. In fact, there are only eight days in the summer when you can legally light fireworks – July 2 to 5 and July 22 to 25th. In addition, there are only specific places you can light them at all.

Loy and his wife left their Herriman home to run errands on September 15. They actually talked about the weather because it was so windy.

“We left the house thinking that morning it was a bad fire day,” Loy recalled. “Then, of course, our house almost burned down.”

They returned to find firefighters surrounding their home. Crews were able to save their home. They couldn’t save the one just up the hill.

Ryan Love has been a firefighter for 12 years. He remembers that September day too, and it’s still a good reminder of how dangerous even small fireworks can be.

“Any firework can be dangerous,” Love said. “A lot of people can have the misconception that sparklers and smoke bombs are not dangerous.”

Starting Saturday, Utahns can purchase fireworks in the state. And while people can legally light them during the holiday window, fire crews are asking everyone to leave it to the pros.

“I think the safest thing people can do this holiday season is to go and enjoy a professional firework show,” Love said.

After Loy’s experience five years ago, he said they’d sit these holidays out and ensure their home and the hills by it stay quiet.

“We don’t really like fireworks at all anymore,” Loy said.

If you want to know where fireworks are legal, go to the Unified Fire website for an interactive map.

 

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Utah firefighters remind locals of firework restrictions