Fireworks and the Fourth of July holiday might seem synonymous. But this Independence Day, Utahns will be hard-pressed to find places where backyard fireworks are allowed.
Hot, dry conditions throughout Utah mean fireworks are prohibited on public lands and in many communities.
“We have restrictions, and they're pretty, pretty sweeping,” says Audra Sorenson, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. “We have to do that because there is such a danger -- a small sparkler or just the empties from a firecracker can spark a terrible, terrible fire.”
Sorensen says many people see it as a right to celebrate the holidays with fireworks. But there are alternatives -- like hanging out at the pool or enjoying community fireworks displays.
“There's great displays at Sugarhouse park at other municipalities have beautiful professional displays and they have their fire departments and crews on hand to be able to handle that situation make sure that they're both beautiful and safe,” she says.
There’s a web page for checking local fireworks and campfire restrictions. It’s utahfireinfo.gov.
Sorenson says firefighters are on high alert, and the Salt Lake City Fire Department recently added two new ladder trucks to its fleet.
“If you see something happening,” she adds, “quickly, quickly call 9-1-1, because the sooner we can get on site to where a spark is, the sooner we can contain that potential fire.”