Fire restrictions throughout area, but July 4th fireworks show goes ahead

by Easton Bowring
What is a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks? Luckily, San Juan County residents will not have to find this out, even in this drought season.
In fact, thanks to a generous donation by Dr. Joe Wilson, the City of Blanding is hosting the second biggest firework show in all of Utah, just behind the Stadium of Fire.
The firework show will begin at 10 p.m. on July 4 at Centennial Park in Blanding. Each firework will be computer fired and choreographed to patriotic music, making it the perfect finale for the Independence Day celebration
The City of Blanding is not planning to shut down the fireworks, and believes that their efforts may help prevent fires in other locations.
Blanding City Manager Jeremy Redd explains that before the city can start the show, a pre burn must take place in order to kill all grass to prevent anything in the area from catching fire.
On the night of the Fourth, firetrucks and firefighters will be on the scene. Redd said that this will make the Blanding Fourth of July fireworks safe.
“What we are always worried about are the individual shows that people do on their own with their own fireworks,” said Redd. “We would like to let people do what they want to do, but would really hate to ban everything.”
There are currently no restrictions on residents using legal fireworks in Blanding. However, residents and visitors are advised to not have their own shows in order to do their part in preventing a wildfire. Instead, everyone is invited to attend the city show that will light up the sky.
In other areas of San Juan County, extreme drought conditions has prompted officials to elevate fire restrictions on public lands throughout the area.
The restrictions include private land in all unincorporated areas of San Juan County, in addition to all lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service.
The new restriction orders supersede all previous restrictions and will be in place until the fire hazards subside.
No open burning will be allowed in any area, including charcoal briquettes and any stoves using wood for fuel, including designated campgrounds.
Stoves using liquid fuel with on/off switches are allowed for cooking.
No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area that is paved, barren, or cleared to mineral soil.
No metal cutting, welding or grinding activities in areas of dry vegetation.
No discharging or using any kind of fireworks, steel-tip or tracer ammunition, or other pyrotechnic devices, including exploding targets.

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