Today, many residents along the Wasatch Front will be lighting fuses and gazing up at the sky. July 1st is the first day to legally ignite fireworks across the state.
State-approved fireworks can be discharged from July 1st through July 7th and again on July 21st through July 27th between 11 am and 11 pm. Hours are extended to midnight on Independence Day and Pioneer Day.
This year, the state legislature gave authority to the Salt Lake County Council to place fireworks restrictions on unincorporated areas of the county instead of the state forester.
With that change, Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Brian Anderton says residents will notice fewer restrictions this year than last.
“There are certain areas within the county that local fire officials have determined are safe and don’t pose a hazard,” Anderton says. “They’re not on areas that interface with the forest service. So we were able to go in and have a little more determination on where we are comfortable with people being allowed to utilize fireworks.”
Local law enforcement and fire officials enforce restrictions. Fireworks violations are punishable by a class B misdemeanor.
Most of the bans are on both the east and west benches and northwest Salt Lake County above 2100 south and west of Interstate 215.
The only fireworks approved for personal use are so-called firework cakes, which can shoot off multiple shots from one fuse attached to a single, stable base. The cakes cannot be larger than 500 grams of powder.