No fireworks ban for county residents
Residents in Summit County — except those in Park City — won’t have to face a fireworks ban this year for the Fourth of July, area officials said.
"That’s my understanding," said Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds. ‘I have not heard otherwise."
That doesn’t mean that fire officials aren’t urging caution for the unincorporated areas of the county, especially for the large stretches of rural land on the East side.
"People should use common sense," said Summit County Fire Warden Bryce Boyer.
At least one official asked for a ban, but was rebuffed.
Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt said that his district does not have authority to ban fireworks in unincorporated areas – that’s up to the State Forester, who has not called for a ban. "If it was under my jurisdiction I would ban them. We asked him to but he hasn’t and I respect that," Hewitt said.
The reason Hewitt would like a ban, he said, is that "while fire conditions are not as threatening as in the past, we have no precipitation in the forecast for the holiday weekend." He said cheatgrass, which is highly flammable, is high and plentiful this year.
In Hewitt’s opinion, the worst fireworks are "anything that travels horizontally more than 15 feet and anything that explodes, as far as fire and personal injury [are concerned]."
If someone sees smoke or believes there is a fire, Hewitt advised, "Don’t hesitate to call 911. Our best defense is an early warning."
Boyer said that after the Fourth of July ends, he will see how county residents responded to see if restrictions might be recommended for the upcoming Pioneer Day holiday. Summit County Public Information Officer said Boyer is scheduled to address County Council the week before Pioneer Day on fire dangers.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.