Ogden changes fireworks ordinance

Wednesday , June 12, 2013 - 12:33 AM

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OGDEN — With temperatures heating up and the Fourth of July just around the corner, Ogden city is making some changes to its fireworks ordinance.

The city council voted Tuesday night to adopt an ordinance that amends the Ogden fireworks code to update the process for restricting or prohibiting fireworks in the city.

During the 2013 Utah State Legislative session, an amendment was made to the Utah State Code regarding how and where a city’s fire marshal can establish fireworks prohibitions.

House Bill 289 requires that a city’s legislative body must now be involved in enacting fireworks restrictions.

To conform to the new requirements outlined by the bill, which goes into effect July 1, the city will require Ogden Fire Marshal Brandon Thueson and Fire Chief Mike Mathieu to provide a written submittal of potential restrictions or prohibitions to the council and the Recorder’s office.

The change will require that the council adopt a separate ordinance on restrictions once the fire officials make an initial recommendation on banning or limiting fireworks.

In essence, the change removes current code language that allows for the fire marshal or fire chief’s complete discretion in establishing restrictions.

Thueson said the change allows for a check-and-balance system to ensure restrictions are warranted.

The ordinance also provides new definitions of hazardous areas within the city, which include open fields, vacant lots, wooded areas, brush-covered wooded areas and brush-covered hillsides.

Examples of these are the wooded areas along the Ogden and Weber river parkway, any parks along the river corridor, all of Fort Buenaventura and all areas in the city east of Harrison Boulevard.

During summer months, Utahns are allowed to ignite fireworks from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 1-7 and July 21-27.

Thueson said residents should report violations by calling the non-emergency police dispatch number in their community.

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