Kaitlyn Webb the Utah State Prevention and Fire Communications Coordinator joined Nicea and Surae on The Daily Dish to talk about an important topic we should be thinking about as we move into the July 24th holiday weekend.
The public has been doing a great job of adhering to restrictions and exercising fire sense over the past few weeks and as a state, we have seen some very positive trends. The concern is that we can’t let our guard down now; fire danger is still extremely high. The State of Utah is continuing to see unnecessary human-caused wildfires during a year where every fire has the potential to be catastrophic. Carelessness with even small, seemingly harmless sparks can have very serious consequences this year.
Legal firework discharge dates start today, July 22nd, and last through Sunday, July 25th. Even during legal dates, there are very few places that you can use fireworks this year. Fireworks are prohibited on all federal lands, banned from state and unincorporated private lands and there are also many restrictions and bans in place in cities and towns across the state. It’s a great year to consider going to a professional show and skipping your own fireworks. If you choose to celebrate with fireworks this year in legal areas you should be thinking long and hard about whether or not it’s worth the risk. Is it worth the risk of you being responsible for starting a fire that threatens homes or damages natural resources?
These storms have not eliminated fire risk, they also bring with them lightning fires, all the more reason for each of us to be using fire sense to prevent the human-caused ignitions that we can have an influence, firefighters have plenty to deal with without the public making the fires season even busier for them. Last week alone there were 62 lightning caused-fires. The fire season is far from over and this drought has not been mitigated by recent storms.
The 4th of July holiday was proof that we can have a quiet weekend as far as wildfires go, even though the high fire potential is there. It takes all of us making small sacrifices, being informed, and choosing to exercise fire sense.
In addition to fireworks, Kaitlyn encourages everyone to also make sure they’re checking campfires (check restrictions, drown/stir/feel/repeat) and vehicles (check chains, maintain vehicles, use spark arrestors).
Do you need more information about how you can help or want to know what other things you and your family can do to help? Check out the Utah Fire Sense website where you can also get state restrictions, see active fires and also report an active wildfire.
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