Fire marshals advise caution with fireworks after record number of house fires

Fire regulations allow fireworks to be fired off July 22 to July 25 (Will Feelright)

LOGAN — Fire fighters are asking residents to use extreme caution during the Pioneer Day Holiday as new fire restrictions were ordered by the State Forester. The plea came after a record number of local house fires occurred during the Fourth of July.

Logan City Fire Marshal Craig Humphreys explained fire fighters were called to five structure fires during the Independence Day holiday, plus there were also several grass and dumpster fires. All of the blazes were later determined to be caused by fireworks.

We really want people to take the proper precautions that they need to as they recreate and celebrate with fireworks,” said Humphreys, “especially make sure they are only in the areas where they are allowed.”

Until July 25, Class C fireworks (considered low explosives and suitable for private use) may be discharged between 11 am and 11 pm, except on July 24 when the hours are extended to midnight. They are also generally prohibited outside of developed neighborhoods or near the benches and foothills.

Class C fireworks sold at a local store. (Will Feelright)

Humphreys said a majority of the fires earlier this month occurred when fireworks accidentally tipped over as they were going off, shooting explosives into nearby yards and homes. Several others were also started by fireworks not being extinguished properly.

“Really make sure that if you are using aerial devices that you secure them properly on all four sides. Bricks or cinder-blocks work well, so they won’t tip over. Then make sure and soak all the debris with water before you put it in a dumpster or your garbage can, so it won’t re-ignite and spread to your house.”

Due to dry weather conditions, the State Forester implemented a Fire Restriction Order July 18. It applies to all of the unincorporated areas of northern Utah.

Cache County Fire Marshal Jason Winn said the order boils down to using common sense. He cited the Three Hill Fire as evidence. The 97 acre blaze started last Friday by a target shooter, firing at exploding targets during 90+ degree temperatures.

“We encourage everyone to have fun this weekend but on the other hand, we would like everyone to please, please be careful,” pleaded Winn. “Just like the fire that started in Hyde Park Canyon that is a lot of resources and a lot of money being spent on something that could have been prevented easily.”

The order for Cache, Rich, Box Elder and Weber counties prohibits:
1. Camp fires except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or home sites where running water is present.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
3. Discharging or using any fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices including exploding targets.
4. Cutting, welding or grinding metal in areas of dry vegetation.
5. Operating a motorcycle, chainsaw, ATV, or other small internal combustion engine without an approved and working spark arrestor.

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