SWEETWATER COUNTY — Sweetwater County Fire District No. 1 is reminding residents that it is illegal to shoot off fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county and on all federal and state owned lands.
The only exception is on privately-owned lands with the owner’s permission, according to fire chief Scott Kitchener.
If caught shooting fireworks off on these lands, residents could face fines and be held liable for any suppression costs or damages caused by the fireworks.
“This most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues across the country,” Kitchener said. “Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for our responders.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. And two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.
“We urge holiday revelers to use extreme caution around fireworks,” Kitchener continued. “Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant.”
Fireworks injure 9600 individuals every year according to NFPA statistics. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn into disaster if proper precautions are not taken.
SCFD No. 1 offers these helpful safety tips to ensure your celebration is safe and fun for everyone:
- Leave fireworks to the professionals
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals
- Always read and follow label directions
- Always have an adult present
- Always ignite fireworks outdoors and away from flammable materials
- Be sure to have water handy
- Light only one firework at a time
- Never try to re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Dispose of fireworks properly in a metal container or bucket of water before throwing them away
“Know the risks with fireworks and follow the safety tips,” Kitchener said.
To report fires, call 911 or to report fires on BLM lands call 1-800-295-9953.