Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 23, 2019
Fire chief urges caution when using fireworks

The Tooele City Fire Department plans for Pioneer Day like many Tooele County residents — getting together with family and friends, having a barbeque and lighting off fireworks. 

While fireworks are linked with the state holiday, another reality for firefighters around the county is fire. 

While it’s important to be safe when using fireworks any year, conditions this year are especially ripe for a significant fire, according to Tooele City Fire Chief Rick Harrison. Winter precipitation and a wet spring have combined for vegetation to grow quickly, but also dry out rapidly. 

Residents should remember to follow local laws about discharging fireworks, including where and when they’re permitted, Harrison said. 

In Tooele City, fireworks will be permitted in much of the downtown area. The borders for the firework approved area roughly follows 1000 West to the west and Droubay Road to the east.

The southern border of the firework area follows state Route 36, then Skyline Drive. The northern border is 2000 North west of SR-36, and approximately 1530 North until about 520 East, then to approximately 1480 North to Droubay Road. 

Anyone who lives in the restricted area can use fireworks at Dow James Park, while fireworks at Elton Park are prohibited, according to Harrison. 

Firework sales run through July 25. Fireworks can be used from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 22 through July 25.

The hours fireworks can be discharged are extended to midnight on July 24. 

Harrison also said people using fireworks need to remember basic safety rules such as storing them in a cool, dry place, reading the directions on fireworks before lighting them, and always having an adult present.

Harrison also advised never pointing fireworks toward another person, keeping them away from dry grass, trees and other vegetation, and never experimenting or making your own fireworks. Anyone using fireworks should be careful not to put any body part over the firework when lighting it, stepping away from fireworks after they’re lit and to never attempt to relight a firework that doesn’t go off. 

When you collect used fireworks, place them in a bucket of water to ensure they’re extinguished, Harrison said, to avoid the possibility of them relighting. 

“It seems like every year we have a garbage can fire around midnight when fireworks get thrown away,” he said. 

It’s also important to be respectful of the time limit on fireworks, as there are some people who continue to shoot off fireworks after hours, Harrison said. 

“Have respect for your neighbors,” he said. “… We always have people lighting fireworks after midnight. And not only that, have respect for people’s pets.”

With so many people firing up their grills for the holiday, Harrison said it’s important to be safe when using them as well.  

Harrison recommended keeping grills outdoors and away from decks, railings, eaves and overhanging branches. Residents should also keep children away from grills and keep the cooking surface clean of grease. 

While it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when using fireworks or grills, Harrison said he hopes people can have fun on the holiday as well.

Elsewhere across the county, there are three designated areas where fireworks are permitted in Grantsville City, including two parks in housing subdivisions. The main area permitted for fireworks is bordered by West Street to the west, Durfee Street to the south, Clark Street to the north and Matthews Lane to the east. 

Fireworks will also be allowed in the homeowners association parks in the Anderson Ranch and South Willow Estates subdivisions.  

The use of fireworks in the towns of Rush Valley and Stockton are fully restricted this year. Fireworks are only permitted in Vernon in the town’s fire department parking lot. 

There are no restrictions on fireworks in Wendover, aside from on state and federal lands. Throughout the county, fireworks are not allowed on any federal land, including Bureau of Land Management, military and U.S. Forest Service property. 

Most of northern Tooele County, including Stansbury Park and Lake Point, do not have firework restrictions

An interactive, color-coded map of fireworks restrictions in the county is available at tooelecountysheriff.org/firewarden.htm. 

If anyone using fireworks causes or spreads a fire negligently, recklessly or intentionally, they are liable for the cost of fire suppression and any damages caused, according to state law.

The BLM also has year-round restrictions on exploding targets, tracer and incendiary ammunition, operating off-highway vehicles without spark arresters and sky lanterns or similar devices. 

An interactive, color-coded map of fireworks restrictions in the county is available at tooelecountysheriff.org/firewarden.htm.

 

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