Utah Governor Gary Herbert says the state has done everything it can to ban fireworks in the most dangerous places. Now, he says it’s up to individual cities and citizens to take precautions to make sure this year’s fireworks season is a safe one.
Wind, high temperatures and dry conditions are the perfect recipe for a tinderbox. And State Fire Marshall Brent Halladay says that is exactly what is brewing everywhere in the state.
“I have been in this business 41 years...and I have never seen a year like this.”
With the state already battling several wildfires, Governor Gary Herbert met with fire officials and city leaders at the State Capitol Thursday to discuss the issue of fireworks.
“The state has done everything that it can do to ban fireworks. Fireworks are banned throughout the state today as of June 23rd. That ban has been in place for everyplace except the incorporated areas of our state... so, the cities.”
The Governor stopped short of saying he would like a complete ban on fireworks everywhere this year… however he urged residents to use extra caution and be aware of what restrictions are in place in their cities.
Halladay says many cities have already started evaluating the situation and adjusted their firework policies accordingly.
"The little town of Cedar Fort- there are weeds everywhere- so they have basically banned fireworks in that little community because they are afraid of where they sit. Park City has done the same thing because they sit right in the interface.”
There are six active wild fires burning in the state. The Governor has expressed interest in holding a special session in the coming weeks to address more fire restrictions, but, speaking at his monthly news conference on KUED, said nothing has been decided.
“There may be a loophole with firearms that needs to be addressed but we’ll take a look at that and analyze that. But it certainly something we need to decide in a hurry because we are getting into the throes of the fire season.”
The state has a no tolerance policy for anyone who starts a wildfire, and the governor says those who do will have to pay for it. Halladay adds that anyone caught breaking the fireworks restrictions will be charged criminally.
For up-to-date information about fireworks restrictions in your community go to PublicSafety.Utah.Gov