Fireworks restrictions announced; wildfire risks remain high
OGDEN — Fireworks are prohibited east of Harrison Boulevard and along the Ogden and Weber River parkways again this year as severe drought and high fire risks persist in Utah.
In 2021, Ogden prohibited fireworks citywide because of extreme risks, but this year’s conditions are judged somewhat less severe, so the partial prohibition was adopted by the fire marshal.
“We feel the level of spring moisture and the later summer” called for the relatively measured restrictions this year, Mike Slater, assistant fire chief, said Monday.
But he cautioned that a series of storms a few weeks ago spurred growth of grasses, which are now dried out. “That’s an additional layer of fuel for fires,” he said.
Fireworks also are banned at Fort Buenaventura, the city baseball and dog parks off of A Avenue and in all open fields, vacant lots, wooded areas and brush-covered hillsides in the city.
The Weber Fire District said fireworks are restricted in the foothills areas of North Ogden and Pleasant View and most of the upper Ogden Valley. Fireworks are never allowed on U.S. Forest Service land, Bureau of Land Management ground or in national parks.
There have been 245 wildfires, burning more than 5,200 acres, in the state so far this year, according to UtahFireInfo. Almost 85% of the fires were caused by humans.
By state law, fireworks can be sold this year from June 24 to July 25. They can be discharged only from July 2-5 and July 22-25. Additional periods of permissible fireworks sales and use occur around New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve.
On the July dates, fireworks can be used from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., but they are allowed until midnight on July 4 and July 24.
“We appreciate our community being responsible with fireworks,” Slater said. “When there’s a big fire, it takes a lot of resources, and it’s already been a busy year.”
Fire departments’ water use is also an issue during the extended drought. Slater said depending on the size of a fire and the depth of dry fuels, firefighters can put 10,000 to 1 million gallons on it.