SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Tuesday that the use of personal fireworks and recreational fires will be banned within city limits until further notice.
“The city is combustible,” she said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
“We can’t take unnecessary risk.”
The bans are by order of the Salt Lake City fire marshal and prohibit the use of class C fireworks, which include sparklers and smoke bombs, and other varieties commonly sold at pop-up fireworks stands before July 4 and 24 in Utah.
The ban was put in place because of increased fire risk due to Utah’s drought conditions.
“Our foothills, open spaces, and even our yards and park strips are dry and could be ignited by a single spark, threatening life, safety, and property.”
“These conditions present a very real, immediate threat of fire. We have seen communities in neighboring western states be leveled by urban wildfires in recent years, and we cannot take unnecessary risks that may put us in the same position.”
Mendenhall pointed out that multiple other Utah municipalities had banned fireworks, and she knows of others that are close to that decision.
Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb also spoke, saying fires are hard to avoid in a season like the current one, with little to no rain and temperatures that frequently rise over 100 degrees.
City fire crews have responded to 14 working fires in the past eight days, he said.
Lieb said he knew some city residents would ignore the ban, and enforcing it could be challenging, if not impossible.
“We expect people to be responsible and use common sense,” he said, noting that “This way we can enjoy the holiday without burning someone’s house down” or endangering firefighters.
Open burns also are banned within city limits due to the same fire dangers.