SALT LAKE CITY — Cities all over Utah are implementing fireworks restrictions and all-out bans in an effort to avoid more wildfires as the Fourth of July holiday draws near.
“For the good of the people of Utah, we cannot have these wildland fires that take off and are caused by the poor judgment of people setting off their fireworks,” Governor Gary Herbert said during a news conference outside the tinder dry City Creek Canyon on Thursday.
Firefighters are “overworked and tired” fighting the six wildfires currently burning in Utah, said state fire marshal Brent Halladay. With no relief in sight and the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day holidays coming, they are afraid they will face more fires.
“I think there ought to be a little more control in these extremely bad conditions, but I’m not the legislature and the legislature and governor’s going to have to decide that,” Halladay said.
Currently, fireworks are banned on federal, state and unincorporated lands outside of municipalities. Now, cities have begun issuing their own restrictions. Some, like Park City and Summit County, have forbidden fireworks entirely.
“The entire Summit County and Park City has a ban in effect,” said Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter. “We live in an urban interface, so that’s a big issue for us. If we have a problem, it’s going to be very difficult to get it under control.”