Fire officials strongly urge caution with fireworks over holiday weekend

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Fire officials ask people to use caution when lighting fireworks this Pioneer Day.

On July 4th Salt Lake City Fire responded to 16 fires sparked by fireworks, a number officials describe as typical, but too high to repeat again on the July 24.

“This year the Fourth was on a Friday and the 24th is on a Thursday so we are hoping that might have a little bit of an effect on the 24th being a little slower than the Fourth,” said Jasen Asay, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

Salt Lake City Fire suggests people keep a 30-foot radius from fireworks -- and make sure they're not lighting fireworks close to anything combustible; including, homes, grass and trees.

“It's easy to say ‘be cautious,’ but when you start celebrating and you start lighting off fireworks there's a lot of excitement going on and it's really easy not to pay as close attention as you should,” Asay said.

From now through July 27 it is legal to light fireworks from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and until midnight on July 24.

Fire officials point out this fire season started later than past years, but that doesn't mean it's not dry out.

They say it's that misperception that is likely causing a false sense of security.

“We have seen a lot of fireworks fires, more than in the last couple of years, at least in the wildland setting and camp fires as well. With campfires it's kind of a normal cause from year to year, but this year there's been a bit of a spike with people just leaving their camp fire,” said Jason Curry, spokesman for the Division of Forestry.

See if your house is in a firework restricted area on slcfire.com or look at restriction maps on your city website.

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