Officials urge precaution when igniting fireworks

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-24 19:43:25-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Saturday marked the official opening for firework sales in Utah, but state officials are warning residents to take precautions in dangerous conditions.

Thousands of acres have already burned in Utah this year because of human-caused wildfires, and hot, dry conditions are combining for very high fire dangers.

"I think it's going to be a record fire season for the state of Utah," said Bob Fitzgerald, West Valley City Fire Marshal. "Even a simple and small fire can spread just in a moment."

Officials are encouraging Utahns to use common sense and exercise extreme precaution when target shooting, igniting fireworks or doing other activities that pose a fire risk.

"We’re calling on the people of Utah to kind of self-regulate themselves with a little common sense," said Governor Herbert earlier this week.

Fireworks can be sold between now and July 27, but Utah law only allows them to be set off between July 1-7 and July 21-27 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (and midnight on July 4 and July 24).

Fire officials urge those who are going to set off their own fireworks to take precautionary and safety measures seriously.

"Make sure that you have enough clearance, that you don't have any vegetation, that no one under the age of 16 is handling the fireworks and those above 16 use common sense," said Fitzgerald.

Never light fireworks in grassy fields, close to homes and always immerse fireworks in a bucket of water after they've been discharged.