Ironically, a wet spring can increase summer fire risk because it introduces a large amount of vegetation which dries out quickly when high temperatures hit. These high temperatures, coupled with even mild winds, can create a deadly combination as evidenced in the recent outbreak of fires throughout the state.
Concerned about the safety and welfare of Morgan City citizens, the City Council reviewed a map provided by Morgan County Fire Warden Boyd Carrigan and agreed that the areas outlined should be subject to the current county-wide fire restrictions.
This area is detailed in the map attached to this story and includes areas north of 600/700 East to the City boundary and east and south of Imperial Drive including the South Morgan Cemetery to the City boundaries.
Fire restrictions took effect on June 27, 2017, and include:
- Setting, building, maintaining, attending or using open fires of any kind, except within the facilities designated for them in improved campgrounds, picnic areas or home sites where running water is present;
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area that is paved or free from dry vegetation;
- Discharging or using any kind of fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets;
- Cutting, welding or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation;
- Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.
Any of the above acts is a violation of state law and punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
The following persons are exempted from the above prohibitions:
- Persons with a permit or waiver specifically authorizing a specified act at a specific location;
- Any on-duty firefighter in the performance of an official duty.
During the council meeting Councilman Eric Turner strongly urged residents who do choose to light off fireworks in permitted areas to abide by the same safety guidelines put forward by the State of Utah, which are:
- Always provide adult supervision for children using fireworks. Parents can be held financially accountable for any fireworks-related damage caused by their children.
- Light fireworks in a safe area such as on a driveway or other paved surface. Keep fireworks at least 25 feet away from grassy and vegetated areas.
- Never attempt to relight or alter malfunctioning fireworks. After allowing them to stand for several minutes, discard in a pail of water.
- Light one firework at a time and move away quickly. Fireworks should never be held or thrown.
- Have a water supply nearby, such as a garden hose or bucket of water.
- If clothes catch fire, remember to STOP, DROP onto the ground, cover your face, and ROLL, over and over until the fire goes out.
Fire officials also remind residents to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. Look for large areas of dry grass that may pose a danger before discharging fireworks in the vicinity.