City passes fireworks map, encourages residents to #skipayear againMay 30, 2022 05:10PM ● By Travis Barton
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
A year after drought conditions saw officials around the state enact different measures of control over fireworks, the Sandy City Council unanimously adopted its firework restrictions map in early May.
The map restricts fireworks above 1300 East and west of 300 West along with various high risk areas throughout the city such as parks, the TRAX line and canal trails.
Legal fireworks can only be discharged in allowed areas on specific dates. Fireworks are allowed between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 2, July 3, July 5, July 22, July 23 and July 25. Fireworks are allowed between 11 a.m. and midnight on July 4 and July 24.
Fire Marshal Robert DeKorver told the council in May he believe the restrictions map “works both ways” preventing firework risk in dangerous areas while still allowing residents to light fireworks in other areas of the city.
While there is concern among residents that fireworks are still allowed, with some even wishing for a full citywide ban as drought conditions persist, Sandy’s fire officials feel the now-passed map represents the length of their legal capabilities.
“What you’re seeing meets the law and that’s what we’re going to be able to abide by,” DeKorver told the council.
In an April council meeting when the map was first discussed, he noted they give the council a recommendation based on their “comfort zone” of how they, along with the city attorney, interpret the law.
Fire officials did say that if conditions worsen, they can come back to the council for additional changes.
Fire Chief Bruce Cline explained no new fireworks-related bills were passed in the legislature this year meaning the law remains the same as last year, where only the state legislature has the ability to ban fireworks.
It was an issue that frustrated councilmembers last year and still remains raw for some.
Councilman Zach Robinson said they will hear from constituents all throughout July “wanting an all-out ban.”
“It’s just mind-blowing that the cities don’t have the authority to do more,” he said.
That authority, according to a city survey of residents, should belong to the city with 88% preferring the ability to ban fireworks be under local jurisdiction.
Education did make a difference last year, Cline said, who highlighted they had less than an acre of fires in Sandy last year.
“It was really good for a drought and dealing with fireworks during that time of the season,” he said.
DeKorver added firework calls went up in 2021, but the amount of fires dropped with it being the first year not having a park fire.
“This year we pushed a lot more education,” he said, which includes the #SkipAYear. “We feel very comfortable with the map we have currently.”
Councilwoman Marci Houseman said she wouldn’t push beyond what the fire officials would recommend. She also said she believes in the city’s residents and their ability to “focus on critical matters.”
“I believe in people who are informed and who want to protect one another and property,” she said, later adding, “I don’t believe that bans beyond what we are legally allowed to do are necessary. I think there are reasons we have these boundaries.”