Cox, dozens of city leaders plead with Utahns to forgo using personal fireworks during July holidays

Firework spreads above the city, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2020 | File photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox has joined local leaders at the state’s capitol to advise all Utahns to “Celebrate Safely” in the face of severe drought and fire conditions.

Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks at the Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 8, 2021 | File photo by Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News/Associated Press, St. George News

Cox and more than 30 Utah city mayors, council members, city managers and other leaders have asked residents to skip using personal fireworks this year and join with neighbors in celebrating the July 4 and July 24 holidays at public celebrations sponsored by local communities.

“With this year’s extremely dry conditions, all it takes is one spark to set off a life-threatening blaze,” Cox said in a press release issued by the Governor’s Office. “We love our great nation and state, but there are much better ways to celebrate our independence and heritage than personal fireworks this year. Please celebrate safely!”

Local governments have engaged fire marshals and other professionals to assure conditions, locations and timing of professional fireworks displays are as safe as possible. In an extreme drought year, this is also the best way to prevent water waste that might otherwise have to be used on putting out fireworks-caused fires, Utah League of Cities and Towns President Mike Caldwell said.

“With our present drought conditions, this will be the easiest year to start a fire and the hardest year to extinguish a fire,” Caldwell said. “Even small fires will further strain our water resources.”

Unified Fire Chief Dan Petersen encouraged all Utah residents to make the personal choice to celebrate safely by celebrating together and avoiding using individual fireworks.

“Any ignition of grass and shrubs this year has significant potential to grow faster than you can control,” he said. “Fire chiefs across the state are asking you to skip personal fireworks this year.”

Residents are encouraged to reach out to their individual and neighboring communities to understand city restrictions and conditions.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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