Some in Park City ignore ban, celebrate the 4th with fireworks
Not everyone in Park City adhered to the ban on fireworks during the 4th of July week.
The Park City Police Department received at least five reports of people using fireworks in the city limits. The number is lower than those reported on many Independence Day weeks, but it is likely disappointing nonetheless to the police, firefighters and emergency planners given the ban was widely publicized.
The cases reported to the Police Department included:
Emergency officials were deeply concerned about a terrible wildfire being ignited during the 4th of July week. Conditions during part of last week were dry and windy, prompting the fireworks ban.
"I think people policed themselves quite well," Police Chief Wade Carpenter said. "I think people recognized the problems we had . . . They recognized the dry conditions and took it seriously."
The 4th of July was two days after a small fire outside a house in the Aerie. Investigators said stacked layers of plants, wood, plastic, construction materials and bark shavings spontaneously combusted. The fire sent smoke into the air that was visible from numerous locations in Park City.
The Police Department, meanwhile, received other calls last week from people concerned about fires.
On Sunday, July 8, someone on Lucky John Drive contacted the police at 9:42 p.m. reporting smoke. Public police logs did not provide details. At 6:17 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, someone on Lowell Avenue called the police with a report of smoke on a hillside. A police officer who investigated did not see any smoke, though, the police said.
Someone contacted the police at 12:54 p.m. on July 4 worried about cars that had been parked on grass along Deer Valley Drive. The person was concerned they could start a fire in the grass.
Leaders shortly before July 4 enacted a firework ban that lasts until Oct. 1. Open fires are also prohibited until then. Emergency officials will likely be worried about Pioneer Day later in July, another holiday that is marked with fireworks.
Shooting is illegal in the Park City limits all year, but the concerns are heightened with the dry conditions. A police officer in the evening of July 7 patrolled the Richardson Flats area checking for target shooters. None were found. Emergency officials say a bullet could start a fire if it is shot into dry vegetation or if it hits a hard surface, creating a spark that then lands in grass or bushes.
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The group that represents businesses in the Main Street core of Park City formally outlined a request to close the shopping, dining and entertainment strip to traffic on Sundays in the summer and early fall.