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Fireworks spark brush fire in Parleys Canyon

Fireworks are the suspected cause of a brush fire that ignited in the mouth of Parleys Canyon June 25.
United Fire Authority
Fireworks are the suspected cause of a brush fire that ignited in the mouth of Parleys Canyon June 25.

A brush fire sparked in Parleys Canyon at about 10 p.m. June 25. It was likely started by fireworks.

The grass fire burned about an acre at the mouth of Parleys Canyon, just above the I-80 on-ramp from I-215 near Wasatch Boulevard in Salt Lake County.

Kelly Bird from the Unified Fire Department said there were two teams on the scene Tuesday night.

“The fire did blow down and did reach the freeway, and we did have to shut down the exit to I-80 east in order for us to keep it safe for all the traffic, and for us to be able to fight it effectively,” he said.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze in a couple of hours and the I-80 on-ramp from I-215 was reopened. No structures were damaged.

Bird said neighbors reported hearing fireworks in the area before the fire ignited. Fire investigators, however, could not confirm a connection and there is no ongoing investigation.

While fireworks are currently on sale in Utah until July 25, Salt Lake County restricts their use to a limited number of days throughout the year. This summer, fireworks can be used two days before, the day of and one day after July 4 and July 24. There are also time restrictions: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. before and after the holidays, with a midnight cut-off on Independence Day and Pioneer Day.

Many cities in Summit County, including Park City, Coalville, Henefer, Oakley and Francis, haven’t announced fire restrictions for 2024 yet. Kamas prohibits fireworks within city limits.

Fireworks are not allowed in Heber and surrounding areas due to increased fire danger. Residents in Wasatch County who are not in firework-restricted areas can set off fireworks from 11 a.m. to midnight July 2 through 5 and July 22 through 25.

Bird encourages the community to be cautious when lighting fireworks.

“Our wildfire risk is extremely high right now, and especially as we go into our fireworks season, with the holiday coming up, we need everybody to exercise complete caution, follow the restrictions that are in place,” he said.

If someone uses fireworks outside of designated discharge areas and times, they could be fined up to $1,000.