Fireworks, open flames banned in Park City as dry conditions continue
Personal fireworks are banned in Park City into the fall due to hot, dry weather.
The Park City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution prohibiting the use of any ignition source – including fireworks and open flames – anywhere within municipal boundaries through Oct. 31 unless “explicitly approved” in a written permit.
City Council members had enacted the ban on June 23, but staffers brought the resolution back for another vote because of some confusion caused by a presentation last month, according to Dave Thacker, chief building official and fire code official.
The International Fire Code, which has been adopted by the state and Park City, allows the City Council to prohibit ignition or use of ignition sources when a city fire code official determines restrictions are necessary. Ignition sources covered by the ban include backyard fire pits.
After the determination is made, city councils can impose the ban in mountainous, brush-covered, forest-covered or dry grass-covered areas; near waterways, trails, canyons, washes, ravines or similar places; and in the wildland urban interface area. Park City falls entirely within those spaces.
The resolution was based on the high fire danger in Park City, Thacker said.
He said in a report the recommendation for the ban was based on criteria that include below-normal precipitation that produced a low snowpack. Drought conditions have steadily gotten worse and forecasts show above-average temperatures with below-average precipitation, according to Thacker’s report.
“Historic data shows an increase in dry conditions will sustain through the summer months increasing fire danger,” the report also says.
To get an exception from the ban, residents can request a fire operational permit at the Park City Building Department. Requests are evaluated for compliance with the International Fire Code, the Park City Land Management Code and local environmental conditions at the time the application is submitted.
“There are a lot of outdoor fire pits that have already gone through that permitting process and have already received a permit,” Thatcher said.
Park City officials have been cautious and canceled a community fireworks display planned for July 4 this summer because of the conditions.
There is no ban in unincorporated Summit County except on state and federal land, but officials are urging residents to be vigilant about fire danger.
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