Davis, Weber cities change fireworks restrictions as a precaution

Jun 18 2011 - 12:10am


Some cities in Davis and Weber counties have changed their restrictions now that aerial fireworks are legal in Utah.

Layton's fire department has restricted the use of the recently approved aerial fireworks in portions of the city.

"Just because some fireworks are legal, it does not mean that they can be used without incurring some risk," said Fire Chief Kevin Ward.

"People still need to follow safety precautions and watch their children closely."

Ward and Fire Marshal Dean Hunt spoke to the Layton City Council on Thursday night to express the fire department's concerns.

With all of the recent moisture the state has received, Ward said, there are certain areas where weeds, bushes and other vegetation have grown more than normal. When those areas dry out, any kind of flame could start a devastating fire.

"It looks like after the storm this weekend, we may not get another one all summer," Hunt said.

The areas in Layton where the aerial fireworks are prohibited include:

  • East of 2000 East from the south city limits to Cherry Lane.
  • East of Fairfield Road north of Cherry Lane to Church Street.
  • East of Church Street from Fairfield Road to Highway 193.
  • East of 2400 East from Highway 193 to the north city limits.
  • North of 3450 North to the city limits, east of 2000 East.

All fireworks are prohibited east of U.S. 89.

"It's only in the best interest of our citizens," said Mayor Steve Curtis. "We do want to avoid any potential fires."

Layton city officials know residents are eager to experience the newly allowed fireworks, but they want to inform residents about the restrictions before fireworks are purchased.

"That's why we want to get the word out, so people don't waste their money," Hunt said.

Layton's fire and police departments will be enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for illegal fireworks.

Ward said they will be looking for the aerial fireworks, and if they find them in restricted areas, officials will take appropriate action.

"The plan is not to confiscate them since, legally, they can have them," he said.

"We will have them discharge the fireworks in a different area. We've always had to deal with illegal fireworks, and now we have to deal with legal ones."

Last year, Layton's fire department confiscated $3,000 to $4,000 worth of illegal fireworks.

Other Davis County cities also have enacted firework bans.

Farmington has banned all fireworks east of Main Street from the Kaysville border to Center Street, as well as east of 200 East from Center Street to the Centerville border.

Bountiful has prohibited the discharge of fireworks east of Davis Boulevard, north of 400 North and east of 900 East.

Kaysville Fire Chief Brett Larkin said that city does not have any changes to its restrictions yet. However, city officials are looking into the issue.

Fire department officials also will be inspecting firework sales locations to ensure that only legal items are sold.

"Even though some fireworks are legal, we encourage the people to leave the fireworks to the professionals and come and watch the shows," Hunt said.

In a news release earlier this month, Ogden City Fire Marshal Matt Schwenk recommended a change in the safe distance requirements for igniting fireworks to accommodate the space needed for the aerial devices.

The fire department is recommending keeping at least 30 feet of distance from any dwelling, structure, tree, line or overhead obstruction.

Discharging fireworks in the streets and similar areas is suggested in order to keep fireworks away from any combustible materials.

The older version of the rule required a 20-foot safe distance around the fireworks ignition site.

Another change increases the safe zone around fireworks stands from 100 feet to 150 feet, which means no fireworks can be ignited, exploded, projected or made use of within 150 feet of a fireworks stand.

Within Ogden city limits, fireworks may be discharged only between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

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