SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Spencer J. Cox joined local leaders at Utah’s Capitol Wednesday morning to advise all Utahns to forgo personal fireworks during the July holidays.
Cox and more than 30 Utah city mayors, council members, city managers and other local leaders asked residents to instead join with neighbors in celebrating July 4 and July 24 at public celebrations sponsored by communities, said a news release from the Office of the Governor.
“With this year’s extremely dry conditions, all it takes is one spark to set off a life-threatening blaze,” Cox said at the press conference. “We love our great nation and state, but there are much better ways to celebrate our independence and heritage than personal fireworks this year. Please celebrate safely.”
Local governments have engaged fire marshals and other professionals to assure conditions, locations and timing of fireworks displays are as safe as possible. In an extreme drought year, this is also the best way to prevent water waste that might otherwise have to be used on putting out firework-caused fires, Utah League of Cities and Towns President and Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said.
“With our present drought conditions, this will be the easiest year to start a fire and the hardest year to extinguish a fire,” Caldwell said. “Even small fires will further strain our water resources.”
Unified Fire Chief Dan Petersen encouraged all Utah residents to make the personal choice to celebrate safely by celebrating together and avoiding using individual fireworks.
“Any ignition of grass and shrubs this year has significant potential to grow faster than you can control,” he said. “Fire chiefs across the state are asking you to skip personal fireworks this year.”
Residents should reach out to their individual and neighboring communities to understand city restrictions and conditions, the news release added.