SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Governor Spencer Cox has a plea to all Utahns: with our state a virtual powder keg right now, don’t light the fuse.
“Please, please, please celebrate without personal fireworks,” he said Wednesday.
With a group of city leaders, firefighters, and fire engines as a backdrop, Cox stated that almost 58,000 acres of Utah have been scorched by 457 different wildfires this year, 81% of them human-caused. Plus, we’ve had four major structure fires along the Wasatch Front in the past two weeks, causing millions of dollars in damage.
Now, here comes the legal fireworks windows from July 2 through July 5 and July 22 through July 25.
“If I could issue a ban on personal fireworks, I would,” the Governor stated. “But state law does not allow me to do that, so I’m asking you. I’m imploring you to do the right thing, and the right thing this year is to put your personal fireworks away.”
With municipalities designating their own boundaries, Salt Lake County’s fireworks map looks like an odd mosaic of red and yellow, and just because an area is legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe.
“The shrubs around your houses are much drier than in years past,” Unified Fire Authority Chief Dan Petersen said. “You’re going to have a challenge with that inside the cities and towns, not just in the wildland area.”
The Governor insists he’s not trying to douse anyone’s Independence Day or Pioneer Day fun.
“We want people to have a great time and to celebrate. You can do that without blowing stuff up in your yard. There are other ways to celebrate,” he told reporters. “I mean, every firework that’s not lit is a potential fire that doesn’t happen.”