Heading into Utah’s annual state holiday weekend, officials are reminding people to be careful with fireworks and other activities as summer revelry is putting a strain on law enforcement, first responders, and search and rescue teams.
State and local regulations allow fireworks to be lit from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today through Saturday, with the hours extended to midnight on Pioneer Day Friday, July 24. Brigham City, Perry and Willard have all implemented restrictions for certain parts of their respective cities, while those in the northern part of the county are adhering to county and state rules.
With summer fire restrictions now in effect, fireworks are only allowed within city limits and on private property. Tremonton City will hold its annual City Days fireworks show at 10 p.m. Saturday at Jeanie Stevens Park.
Officials are urging caution for people planning to light their own fireworks, even if following all rules. The danger was highlighted on July 4, when a house fire started by errant fireworks in Garland took firefighters more than four hours to extinguish. No one was injured in the blaze, but the house at 465 N. Main St. sustained major damage.
An ongoing heat wave has raised the danger of wildfires beyond the conditions that existed on July 4, so an even higher level of caution is now in order, Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton said.
Aside from fire danger, local law enforcement agencies are urging people to be careful when traveling as well. Search and rescue teams have been especially busy in recent days responding to several recreation vehicle accidents.
A press release from the Box Elder Sheriff’s Office on Sunday urged the use of good safety practices “as people continue to seek outdoor activities in the midst of the COVID pandemic.”
Travelers should let someone know where they are going, when they expect to be back, and tell someone if those plans change.
“Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue Teams need to know where to start looking for you if the need arises,” the release states.
Sunday’s press release provided some details of a one-car accident at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in Garland in which someone driving recklessly crashed his car into a canal along 4400 West. The vehicle was completely submerged, and while the driver was able to get out with only minor injuries, a search and rescue dive team had to be called in to help retrieve the vehicle from the water, placing additional strain on responders during an already busy time.
The driver was arrested and booked into the Box Elder County Jail on DUI charges.