While Utah has experienced a relatively slow start to the wildfire season, light vegetation is dry along the foothills and desert areas across the state and fire danger is climbing. Light fuels like cheat grass are already dry and flammable. As daily temperatures continue to rise throughout the state, the wildfire hazard also increases.
Fire officials from state and federal agencies are emphasizing that it is illegal to possess or ignite fireworks on state or federal land at any time. If convicted, fines can be up to $5,000. Officials issue the caution: One spark from fireworks can touch off a costly and destructive wildfire.
Before lighting fireworks, check with your local fire department. Several cities, counties and tribal reservations have restrictions and closure areas for fireworks. During the summer, lighting fireworks in Utah is only legal July 1 - 7, and July 21 - July 27 from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., with an exception of July 4 and 24 - 11 a.m. until midnight.
Even in areas where fireworks are legal to use, they continue to be a major cause of wildfires. Here are a few guidelines to keep celebrations safe:
• Follow product instructions.
• Use only legal fireworks.
• Don’t light fireworks near grass or other vegetation.
• Discard expended fireworks in a bucket of water.
• Use fireworks only as intended. DO NOT try to modify them.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated person light fireworks.
For more information on wildfire conditions, restrictions and prevention, please visit www.utahfireinfo.gov. For information on fireworks safety including specific information on specific city restrictions and changes to state laws regarding fireworks, visit: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/firemarshal