SANDY, Utah — Saying it is against the powers of her office to ban fireworks, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson implored residents Monday to hold off on lighting their own this summer as the state suffers through one of the worst droughts in its history.
"I just want to emphasize this great risk and ask people to really do the right thing," said Wilson at a press conference with other community leaders at Dimple Dell park.
Wilson has asked local communities to either ban or restrict fireworks within their own jurisdictions, similar to what Holladay, Cottonwood Heights and Millcreek have already done. Fireworks are completely banned in unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County, such as canyons and the benches.
Fines up to $1,000 will be issued to those who light fireworks in a restricted area, along with the costs of putting out a wildfire should one start from illegal fireworks.
Residents should contact local authorities for more information on where fireworks are restricted, or to go to the county's website where a map showing restricted areas is provided.
Despite the personal fireworks ban, Wilson said the county will still hold professional fireworks shows on the Fourth of July holiday that will be staffed with firefighting crews.
Like Wilson, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that he does not have the power to issue a statewide ban, and legislative leaders say it is up to local government to issue their own fireworks ban.
"We want to celebrate through those opportunities this year and avoid personal fireworks shows," said Wilson. "And I know that's disappointing, I've got kids, and especially when they were younger, they loved those opportunities. But let's plan ahead and find a place to view our great fireworks show throughout the valley."