SALT LAKE VALLEY, Utah, June 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake Valley fire chiefs have come together to ask residents to skip personal fireworks this year.
“The state of Utah is under an emergency drought order, and temperatures are expected to be extremely high over the next few weeks, if not the rest of the summer, so the conditions are very risky for fire” said Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb in the video.
“The Salt Lake Valley fire chiefs have joined together today to encourage you not to use personal fireworks due to the extreme dry conditions,” Sandy Fire Chief Bruce Cline adds.
“Please consider attending one of the local professional firework displays in your area, where we’ll have fire units on scene to attend to any fire hazards that might arise,” Murray City Fire Chief Jon Harris said. “Check with your local municipality for locations and times.”
Last year alone, agencies in the Salt Lake Valley responded to over 667 fireworks-related calls.
“For each call that comes in related to fireworks, there are less crews available to respond in medical emergencies,” said West Jordan Fire Chief Derek Maxfield.
“During the summer our resources are stretched real thin, and we have a lot of fires that we end up with,” said Unified Fire Authority Fire Chief Dan Petersen. “If you can, avoid fireworks, so we’re not stretched so thin that we can’t respond to emergencies we face every day.”
With the extreme drought conditions, even residential areas are in danger of fire, officials said.
“No one wants to be the cause of their neighbor’s home or property being damaged by a fireworks-related fire,” said South Jordan Fire Chief Chris Dawson. “Let’s avoid the risk and avoid personal fireworks this year.”
The fines for anyone letting off fireworks in a restricted or banned area will be heavily enforced; those fines can be up to $1,000. Anyone who lets off fireworks that result in a fire will be held personally responsible for the cost of fighting that fire and for any damages that occur.
Residents are asked not to call 911 to report illegal fireworks; the video said that for Salt Lake City and Sandy, residents are asked to call 801-799-3000, and for the rest of the valley, call 801-840-4000. Only use 911 to report fires or injuries.