SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Police around the Wasatch Front will be enforcing fireworks restrictions as the wildfires danger increases. They admit it’s difficult to get to every call and hope neighbors can step up to help.
Det. Richard Chipping of Salt Lake City Police Department said they get a high volume of calls for residents illegally lighting off fireworks. He admits with it being a busy holiday they also have to prioritize calls.
“If there is a robbery in progress we’re going to go to that we’re not going to worry about the illegal fireworks that are happening right then and there,” said Det. Chipping. “Until we can clear from these higher priority calls to get out there.”
Chipping says often when they respond to those calls they try to warn people to stop, but can cite or confiscate fireworks if need be. Police hope neighbors can step up and help much like they do with neighborhood watch.
“I live here and want to make sure people are staying safe and if someone is not helping that situation then you need to step up and talk with them,” said Det. Chipping.
Fire department’s are also hoping people will keep an eye out for illegal fireworks. Audra Sorensen of Salt Lake City Fire Department notes what a toll it can take on local departments.
“That’s just a lot of resources and money to tackle those fires so prevention and education is the way to save us all a lot of trouble and money,” said Sorensen.
Several wildfires around the state have already been started by fireworks. Crews hope people will use common sense and realize how quickly fireworks can get out of hand even though people don’t mean for them to.
Sorensen hopes the worry of getting a ticket won’t be the only reason people avoid lighting off fireworks in restricted areas.
“We hope that the fear of a major disaster or wildfire or loss of life or home would be the biggest incentive to not light fireworks off in an improper place or an improper way.”
Residents can check if their home is in a restricted area by typing in their address into this website which will show if it is or not.