Severe fire restrictions in southwest Utah have Independence Day celebrations on hold. Officials are banning certain areas from firework shows in hopes of reducing fires in the southwest.
Because of dry conditions and increased fire danger in southwest Utah, officials expanded fire restrictions yesterday and will continue to uphold them until further notice. These restraints prohibit the use of fireworks in several southern counties.
While the new precautions directly precede July Fourth celebrations, St. George Fire Chief Kevin Taylor says they are an attempt to help unnecessary fires from igniting.
"If you're next to a dry wash or a stream corridor, next to some of our many open hillsides, we do not want fireworks discharged next to those areas."
Mike Melton at the Utah Division of Forestry asks that Utahns follow these rules and refrain from using fireworks in prohibited areas on the fourth.
"We will definitely be out patrolling. You know, right now, we're taking some dry lightening and Mother Nature is handing us a bit of a workload right now."
Although the exact rules vary among private, state and federal lands, open flames outside designated fire pits, smoking and fireworks are restricted across the board.
For a guide outlining firework-safe zones, click here.