SALT LAKE CITY -- Starting Monday, you can legally set off fireworks in Utah. It’s also the start of the driest week of the year.
With fires already spreading quicker this year than officials thought they would, extra restrictions have been put in place to keep you and your family safe, and to prevent fireworks-caused fires.
“A basic good rule of thumb is if you’re not in a city or town, then you probably shouldn’t be using fireworks,” said Jason Curry, spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State lands.
Curry says this past winter’s low snowpack levels have fields of wild grass drying out faster than he expected. If a fire started, and the wind picked up, Curry says the mountain could be on fire within minutes.
“If you get wind or if there’s nearby vegetation, then with certain type of fireworks, there’s more danger,” Curry said. “Just because it’s allowed, doesn’t mean it’s the right decision at the right time there.”
Curry says there are things you can do to make sure your fireworks show doesn’t get out of control, like having a bucket of water close by and putting fireworks in it after they're set off.
Matt Shadle, owner of Mad Matt’s Fireworks, says to make sure nothing is above you when you shoot off your fireworks, and to put the fountain fireworks on a step ladder which makes them safer and look cooler, according to Shadle.
“If you’re not sure how to light them, we can teach you how to do it safely and have a really good time doing it,” Shadle said. “And show a little patriotism for our country.”
According to Curry, every city has maps and information outlining where and when it’s appropriate to do fireworks.
“We do see fireworks fires every year and it’s something that we do get more concerned about,” Curry said. “In the local fire departments in towns, cities and counties, those folks have more staffing typically, starting that first day when fireworks are allowed.”