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Fireworks permitted in much of Wasatch Back over July 4th weekend

Wasatch County Heber fireworks stand
Ben Lasseter/KPCW
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In some parts of the Wasatch Back, fireworks are easier to buy than they are to set off.

As the holiday weekend approaches, fire officials say conditions are much better than they were last year in terms of fire risk. Therefore, people can celebrate with their own fireworks in much of the Wasatch Back, but not in Park City.

This year, the Park City Council decided to prohibit fireworks until further notice at the recommendation of the city fire code official, Dave Thacker. The ban applies throughout city limits.

But in Wasatch County and much of unincorporated Summit County, there are currently no fireworks restrictions. That’s according to Wasatch County interim Fire Chief Eric Hales and Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer.

Boyer says that’s due to favorable conditions like green vegetation holding moisture in the mountains. But he says people should still take precautions, as they’ll be held liable for any damages and costs to put out fires they start.

“Folks just need to use fire sense, or common sense, and be careful where they're lighting fireworks — not around the yellow grasses, cheatgrass, open areas — particularly if it becomes windy, because fires will spread rapidly,” he said.

Boyer said people should put used fireworks in a bucket of water, and that they should not approach fireworks that don’t ignite or use campfires to light them.

Fires are allowed in both counties in designated areas at homes, parks and campsites. No open fires or fire pits are allowed in Park City, according to the Park City Fire District website. Some Summit County neighborhoods, such as Pinebrook, also prohibit wood fires.

Where they are allowed, fire pits should be at least 25 feet from structures, according to Summit County guidelines.

Both counties require people to completely extinguish all outdoor fires, which Boyer says to err on the side of caution.

“[That means] making sure that before they leave the fires that they are cold out, that they've been very well mixed with water and stuff — that you can put your hand in the coals or in the fire area and not get any burn or feel any heat — not to dump coals and acids or charcoal in dumpsters or out in a brothy grassy area, where they could take off and create a wildfire,” he said.

For more information on fire guidelines in Summit County, visit pcfd.org. For Wasatch County information, visit wasatchcountyfire.com.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.