Fireworks are a staple of Fourth of July celebrations, but there probably won’t be any in Park City this year.
With the ongoing drought and fire restrictions in place, fireworks were banned on unincorporated lands throughout Utah after Gov. Spencer Cox issued an executive order on drought restrictions last week.
That means areas like Kimball Junction, located outside of Park City proper, can’t have any displays this year. Park City Fire Marshall Mike Owens said the city municipal government will probably decide on firework restrictions later this week. He said Park City will likely mirror Summit County’s restrictions, and chances are there won’t be any fireworks in the 84060 zip code.
Owens said that starting now, if people see fireworks going off anywhere outside city limits, they should call 911. As the Fourth gets closer, the district will send out public information with more details on firework restrictions.
"We are taking fireworks very seriously," Owens said. "The risks that they pose is not just a risk of wildfire. We're in a drought year. So fuels are drier fires are going to burn easier and faster and hotter. Put structures at risk as well as lives at risk. It's not something that we are going to take lightly at all."
People who violate the restrictions could get a fine of $1,000 and up to 6 months jail time.
He said the fire department had to rescind two firework permits from private events at the Utah Olympic Park and the Glenwild Community. The fire district hadn’t issued a permit at Canyon’s Village and won’t issue one in the upcoming weeks, he said.
He said in order to meet fire restrictions, firework fallout zones have to be soaked with water for days.
"With our drought this year, it's just not a responsible use of water to just spray it on the ground to be soaked in for the sake of a fireworks show," he said. "So that's why a lot of these big shows are not going to happen."
Even without fireworks, Owens said people should still spend time outdoors and enjoy the holiday.
"We live in a beautiful place, we want to keep it beautiful," he said. "We want people to be safe. We want them to have fun as well. And so it's a thin line to walk. This is not the year for fireworks, but by all means get out there and have fun and just please be aware of what you're doing."
Park City announced Fourth of July celebration plans late last month, which include a parade on the second.