ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – It’s another season of selling fireworks for Duke Sam Fong and his kids, but he says 2021 is looking different.
“It’s dead. There’s not very many people coming in, we made one sale today,” says Sam Fong.
Sam Fong says he believes his declining sales are due to the state’s extreme drought and early fire restrictions.
“There’s customers that haven’t come in because they think it’s banned, yeah it’s effected business,” he says.
“This year is so dry and the fire danger is so high, we’ve decided that we’re not going to buy fireworks or do fireworks, like here in St. George I understand it’s the parks,” says Emily Harris of St. George. She tells ABC4 news years before, they would set fireworks off in their street for the Fourth of July.
In St. George, fireworks are prohibited on unincorporated and public lands due to fire concern, but they are allowed in some areas within city limits and designated parks.
“The zones that are prohibited have always been prohibited. The zones that are banned this year were banned the eight years that I’ve been doing this,” says Sam Fong.
Sam Fong says this is his livelihood, but he asks people to be responsible, especially after most fires in Southern Utah last year were human caused.
“If you use the fireworks as instructed, in the designated areas then it really doesn’t have anything to do with the drought,” he says.
St. George is hosting several firework displays and city officials are encouraging residents to enjoy professional shows or go to designated areas to avoid a fine and a tragedy.
“Consider your neighbor, your community, and have a great time, but do it safely,” says Harris.