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The City Journals

Fireworks ban anticipated for SSL west of 900 West

Dec 10, 2018 05:08PM ● By Travis Barton

This summer South Salt Lake Fire responded to 14 brush fires along the Jordan River, with another happening in early November. Fire season’s not over, said Fire Chief Ron Morris. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Fireworks would be banned everywhere west of 900 West in South Salt Lake if a new city ordinance is passed on Dec. 5. 

This comes in the wake of 14 brush fires this summer along the Jordan River. With another one occurring on Nov. 10. 

“I’d like to say the fire season’s over. It’s not,” Fire Chief Ron Morris told the city council during its Nov. 14 meeting. 

California can attest to that as firefighters from across the country, including Utah, have jumped to action to battle the blazes burning down houses in Malibu and other locations. 

“The footage you see from down there is unbelievable,” Morris said. “And the last thing I want to see is something like that in our state or our city.” 

The ban extends to any property owned by the city without written permission from the fire chief. These new restrictions are effective immediately. Violators can receive a class B misdemeanor, though councilmembers suggested a process to educate residents before handing down heftier punishments. 

“It’s a good thing,” Councilman Ben Pender said. “I think we need to have some oversight…we have to have somebody put a stop to it. I think this is actually a good thing in the long run.” 

“My pets are going to be happy as well,” added Councilman Ray deWolfe, who lives west of 900 West. 

Morris said if conditions warrant, then they could ban igniting fireworks at other locations such as schools.  

Ten years ago, Morris wouldn’t be as concerned, but “with the change in the aerials that have been legalized now, it’s debatable whether the municipal fireworks shows are better than the cul-de-sac’s. They’re pretty potent now.”

State law now limits fireworks to July 2-5 and July 22-25 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fireworks are still allowed on New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year’s Eve. But areas to discharge those colorful ignitions are now restricted after the city’s recent ordinance. 

During the same meeting in December, it’s anticipated the council will pass a new law regarding fire inspections within the city. Morris will use a third-party company to ensure fire prevention systems of commercial facilities within the city are up to snuff. 

“There’s no cost to the city,” Morris explained. “The cost is borne by contractors doing the inspecting and servicing. They pay a (yearly) $15 amount per address for when they register that building.”

They don’t have the manpower to reach every business each year, Morris said. He added that statistics show the number of false alarms fall off since all of them are up-to-date.