Park City’s fireworks ban: hold your fire! | ParkRecord.com

Park City’s fireworks ban: hold your fire!

Park City leaders are taking a proactive stand by banning fireworks during Pioneer Day weekend. It's a smart move — one we wish surrounding entities would emulate.

No one wants to be a spoilsport during Utah's Pioneer Day holiday. But no one wants to see a wildfire either.

This spring's abundant rainfall, combined with a long hot summer has created a thick blanket of brush surrounding many outlying subdivisions. An errant spark from a firecracker, a campfire or a vehicle can cause a fast-moving conflagration that could disrupt the weekend's festive atmosphere much more than a mildly disappointing fireworks-free Pioneer Day party.

According to state law, most types of airborne fireworks are outlawed except during the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day weekends. Park City exercised its right to override the state's exemption with a local ban this weekend, but the county did not. Instead, Summit County is counting on residents and visitors to behave responsibly.

That's putting a lot of faith in the hordes of people expected to trudge up, out of the 100-degree-plus weather in the Salt Lake Valley, to celebrate in our cooler mountain environment.

So far, this summer has been remarkably fire-free. The handful of brush fires that have been reported have been quickly extinguished. But memories of wildfires that forced residents at Rockport Estates and Jordanelle to evacuate their neighborhoods two summers ago are still fresh.

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As more and more people build homes in outlying areas of Summit County, the line between wildlands and subdivisions has blurred. That creates a daunting challenge for firefighters.

Utahns have a lot to celebrate this weekend. The state has matured from a frontier outpost to one of the most robust business hubs in the country and our own community has been recognized as a world class resort destination. We don't really need to set off a bunch of fireworks to prove it.

So, on this hot and dry holiday weekend, instead of arming the kids with bottle rockets why not buy them a bunch of squirt guns and let them drench each other and your thirsty lawn?