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Utahns cut fireworks use dramatically, according to air quality and fire monitoring data

Posted at 10:32 AM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 12:32:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY — New air quality and fire monitoring data shows that Utahns largely cut fireworks use, giving firefighters a break for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

According to data from Utah's Department of Environmental Quality, air pollution along the Wasatch Front dramatically declined on Independence Day. Salt Lake County saw the biggest decline, going from a PM2.5 level of 37.9 in 2020 to only 10.1 this year.

"While there were hourly values recorded above the level of the health standard, no sites recorded average values greater than the 24-hour standard," the agency said in a statement to FOX 13.

PM 2.5 data
PM 2.5 data from July 4.

Meanwhile, a report compiled by Utah's Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands found the number of human-caused wildfires also dropped from June 28 to July 4. In 2019, there were 69 human-caused wildfires; in 2020 it was 88. But this year, it dropped to 46.

During the same period, the government reported no injuries resulting from any fires and no structures destroyed.

Governor Spencer Cox on Tuesday expressed his appreciation for Utahns who heeded the advice of firefighters, city officials and political leaders to skip fireworks this year.