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Officials urge caution with fireworks ahead of Pioneer Day

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 23:51:07-04

UTAH -- In total, 634 human-caused wildfires have been been reported in Utah just in 2020.

That is by far a record for the state, and it has fire officials concerned for the upcoming Pioneer Day holiday on July 24.

To see more of the percentages, watch the video above.

“I would like to see not a single firework-related wildfire,” Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands spokeswoman Kait Webb said of the upcoming week.

Fireworks will be legal starting Wednesday and going through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., except on the 24th (Friday) which extends one hour extra to midnight.

Webb says just because they are legal, however, doesn’t mean that you should set them off.

“If it's windy and dry, maybe it's not worth it,” she said.

The dry weather and hot temperatures, as well as the lack of large community firework shows, could be a recipe for disaster, which is why all fire agencies are asking the public to please not make that fire count go any higher.

“It's possible, human caused fires are preventable,” Webb said. “Let's reduce the number of wildfires our firefighters have to respond to.”

Other causes of fires include lack of vehicle maintenance, camp fires left unattended or not put out properly, sparks from yard work, and heavy machinery sparks as well.

Ryan Love with the Unified Fire Authority told FOX 13 that the "Eagle Fire" on July 4 was sparked by someone trying to load a tractor onto a trailer.

The tracks sparked some of the surrounding grass on fire, and before they knew it, the whole hillside was on fire.

“If a spark can cause a fire like that, think of what fireworks can do,” Love said as a warning.

Currently, the majority of all of the wildfires burning in the state have in some form been caused by people.