Fireworks, banned, lit off in Park City anyway
Many people in Park City heard the sharp noise of firecrackers in their neighborhood last week.
And others saw people launch fireworks skyward in the city.
Some Parkites and visitors celebrated the Fourth of July with their own fireworks, a practice that Park City leaders prohibited as the holiday approached. The Park City Police Department last week received complaints about fireworks even as the authorities took efforts to inform people of the prohibition.
The Police Department fielded approximately 20 complaints between July 2 and July 6. The reports were spread between several neighborhoods. There was a concentration of reports on Sunday, July 5 in Prospector. Complaints on the Fourth of July included cases in Old Town, Prospector and Park Meadows. The Independence Day complaints stretched from just before 3 a.m. until a little before 11 p.m.
Hugh Daniels, the emergency manager at City Hall, said none of the reports involved major issues. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said officers did not issue any citations. Two people were warned verbally, though, he said. Kirk said people involved in the other cases were gone by the time an officer arrived.
The Park City Council enacted a prohibition on fireworks as the holiday approached. They were worried that an errant firework could start a devastating wildfire as the area suffered through a prolonged spell of hot, dry weather after a winter with less snowfall than is usual.
The prohibition, which remains in effect until Oct. 31, banned the use of fireworks such as firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and cones. Sparklers and snake-style novelty devices are allowed under the ban. The Police Department and others at City Hall widely publicized the ban, distributing fliers and posting messages on electronic signs.
Still, fireworks could be heard in Old Town on the Fourth of July and the reports to the Police Department showed there were people ignoring the prohibition elsewhere.
Some of the reports around Independence Day included:
The prohibition will likely be tested again later in July as the state celebrates Pioneer Day on July 24. It also bars open flames, such as campfires and fire pits. Violations are class B misdemeanors, punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine upon conviction. Someone could also be held responsible for the costs of fighting a fire started by a firework.
Two people indicated in interviews they are considering mounting campaigns for the Park City Council, a signal the City Hall election could attract an intriguing slate of candidates in a year when the majority of the five seats are on the ballot.