Ahead of Pioneer Day weekend, firefighters and other agencies are urging Utahns to use their fire sense before playing with any kind of fire, especially given the dry conditions the state’s been facing.
Firefighters and other agencies are encouraging the public to visit their local town or city’s firework show as they will be safest with firefighters on stand-by in case anything goes awry.
“You know, what’s sad to me is when I talk to folks who start fires they don’t realize how fast these fires move,” said Chris Delaney, a fire management officer with the Bureau of Land Management. “They may be miles away and within 20 minutes, it’s now impacting communities and the neighbors they live with.”
If choosing to light fireworks on one’s own, there are key tips to follow, including getting rid of them the right way by placing them in water.
“Dunkin’ it in there and letting it soak 15-20 minutes,” said Steve Roberson, Murray City firefighter.
If the fireworks are too big for a bucket of water, grab some water, and douse it.
“Soak that baby,” said Roberson.
There haven’t been any wildfires in Utah this year that destroyed homes or killed someone.
Fire managers credit Utahns for being careful.
Delaney said, “That’s what makes Utah so great. I think Utah residents have absolutely stepped up, not just this year but also last year. We’ve seen a reduction in human-caused fires and they’re the reason why that decrease has happened.”
There is a window where one can set off fireworks in designated locations.
Depending on local restrictions, fireworks can legally be launched from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 2 through July 5, and again from July 22 to July 25. That period extends to midnight on Pioneer Day.
Another tip: When you throw your fireworks trash, do not leave your trash can near your home. It would prevent a spark in the trash leading to a house fire.
Firefighters pushed “The Four B’s”:
- Be prepared.
- Be responsible.
- Be safe.
- Be aware.
The four B’s apply to any kind of fire, including campfires, because 70% of all wildfires are said to be preventable.
“Campfires are a tradition during Pioneer weekend. We want to ensure that we’re dousing them with water. We’re stirring it and that we’re feeling with our hands the charcoal and the debris that you burned to make sure that it’s cool,” Delaney added.
In addition, when it comes to using fire sense, they urge you set off fireworks in a designated area. Watch the wind because it can move a firework to places you don’t want it to go.
Finally, make sure you have your phone on and are stationed in a place where you have cell service in case you do need to call 911.
Contributing: Alex Cabrero