SALT LAKE CITY – Unified Fire Authority spokesman Matthew McFarland says while people shot off more fireworks this 4th of July in the Salt Lake Valley than last year, the fires were small. But with hot and dry weather in the future, they’re worried it may not be the same story on Pioneer Day.
“When we had all of this extra call volume coming in related to [the 4th of July]–up to 10 at the same time–about half of those upon arrival, the crew found out that the person who was calling was able to suppress [the fire] because they had a hose available,” McFarland says.
But firefighters are still worried with Pioneer Day around the corner because many people set off legal fireworks over the Independence Day holiday in restricted areas.
Reminder! Discharge of fireworks is BANNED STATEWIDE until July 22! pic.twitter.com/PxfjLIqfG4
— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) July 6, 2020
“We’ve got several more weeks of hotter, drier weather between now and then, which is going to make things more volatile and more dangerous. So, the risk is ever increasing as summer progresses, and we want everybody to stay safe,” McFarland says.
🚨Critical Fire Weather Conditions🚨 are expected Tues & Wed. Gusty south winds, very low humidity values, and dry conditions will spell trouble for any fires that develop, allowing them to spread rapidly.
— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) July 6, 2020
He is encouraging people to look up online ahead of time whether they can use fireworks in their neighborhood.
It’s unclear how many people were cited over the 4th of July, though McFarland says most of the fireworks people used were legal in Utah.
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