With extremely dry weather expected to continue for the next several weeks, the Utah state forester issued fireworks restrictions for 18 of Utah’s 29 counties Thursday morning.
The restrictions disallow discharging fireworks throughout unincorporated land within the 18 counties, including Sevier, Wayne, Piute and Sanpete.
“The restrictions are in place until they are rescinded,” said Matt Christensen, Sevier County fire warden.
The fireworks restrictions do not apply to incorporated cities and towns.
According to the Utah State Fire Marshal’s Office, fireworks can only be legally —
• Discharged Monday through Sunday, July 1-7; and Sunday through Saturday, July 21-27.
• Discharged between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., except as noted on Thursday, July 4, and Wednesday, July 24, when fireworks can be used until midnight.
• Sold in the state until Saturday, July 27.
Nine other counties in the state, including Garfield, Beaver, Carbon, Emery, Grand, Iron, Kane, San Juan and Washington, have been saddled with additional fire restrictions due to the dry weather. Restrictions on those counties include setting or maintaining open fires of any kind; smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle, building or developed recreation area; use of tracer ammunition; and cutting, welding or grinding of metal in areas of dry vegetation.
Christensen said while Sevier County hasn’t been given the additional fire restrictions, it’s still a good idea to be as cautious as possible when dealing with anything that could ignite a fire.
“The meteorologists don’t see a lot of rain coming,” Christensen said. He said if the summer pattern of monsoonal rains doesn’t develop, further fire restrictions could be applied as vegetation continues to dry.