PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Charges have been recommended against a minor accused of starting a brush fire in Provo, Monday night.
Provo Fire & Rescue was called to Mile High Drive for a reported brush fire.
“This incident highlights the conditions that fire officials, community leaders, and a lot of community members fear as we approach the Fourth of July holiday,” says Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield.
Authorities say charges of discharging fireworks outside of the open fireworks window and discharging fireworks in a restricted area – both misdemeanor B charges – have been referred against the minor accused of lighting the fireworks. Both charges are punishable by fines of up to $1,000 each.
Additionally, Provo Fire & Rescue says fines could be up to $2,000 with an additional $2,420 in costs to suppress the fire.
Provo City is encouraging residents to go to any of the 14 approved parks to discharge consumer-grade fireworks.
“We cannot legally ban the use of fireworks, or realistically enforce a ban when fireworks are available just across the border,” says Schofield. “We just have to provide as many safe alternative as we can, and count on our citizens to be responsible – and do the right thing.”
“I have not seen this anywhere else in my career,” says Provo Fire & Rescue Chief James Miguel. “We provide safe places to discharge fireworks, enforce, and protect our urban interface – and by and large our citizens comply.”
Despite widespread drought and calls for a ban on fireworks, Utah Governor Spencer Cox has stated he lacks authority to enact a statewide ban. Instead, local governments are responsible for banning – or not banning – the use of fireworks.