The summer fire season is here, and with extra growth caused by the cool, wet spring, things are drying out — rapidly.
South Davis Metro Fire Agency Deputy Chief Jeff Bassett said that while the mountain still look green, the brush underneath is already turning brown, and the entire hillside will be brown in no time. “If you notice the brown grass on the freeway, the grass on the mountains already looks like that underneath.”
That means this year could be a particularly bad year for fire.
And with the July 4 holiday this week and July 24 holiday not far away, Bassett is warning south Davis residents to be careful when lighting fireworks.
As in recent years, there are restrictions on lighting fireworks anywhere east of Bountiful Blvd. in Bountiful and North Salt Lake and east of Island View Drive in Centerville.
While dry grass is prime material for fires, Bassett said residents with wooden shingles also have to be aware of the fire risk. He said if there are any pine needles or other leaf material on the roof, it should be cleaned off before fireworks are lit. He said there are several areas which have a number of wood shingled homes, including the Cave Hollow and Maple Hills areas.
Bassett warned against buying fireworks outside of Utah. Any purchased outside the state could be illegal. He recommends buying fireworks only at local stores and fireworks stands. The agency has a list of approved fireworks on its website www.sdmetrofire.org in the community section.
“We want everyone to be safe,” Bassett said. “Each year we see a number of injuries ranging from burns to trauma and eye injuries caused by sparklers. They are dangerous,” he said.
He warned parents to always supervise their children as fireworks are being lit. “They can blow off fingers or a child can lose an eye.”
He said that fireworks use is limited to July 1-7 for the Independence Day holiday and July 21-27 for the Pioneer Day holiday.
Police will be out on patrol watching for illegal fireworks, Bassett said.
He said fire agency personnel will be at the city-sanctioned fireworks shows, and he encouraged residents to attend one of those shows, where fireworks are monitored.