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Salt Lake County Council Member Suggesting Firework Ban

SALT LAKE CITY — Firework season is just weeks away and one member of the Salt Lake County Council is suggesting people opt out of lighting fireworks as Utah deals with severe drought conditions.

“Our family has been praying for rain this weekend,” Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton tweeted Monday. “Since ‘faith without works is dead,’ my vote is we only have city fireworks shows this July and all commit to banning personal fireworks this year. Too much risk. Who is in?”

The District 3 representative told KSL-TV she thinks people should opt out of buying fireworks and leave the displays to the professionals.

“We don’t always need government to mandate things, and in this case, I think it is great if people just took personal responsibility and on their own make the decision that they are going to cut back on firework usage this year,” she said.

The suggestion comes on the heels of Gov. Spencer Cox asking Utahns to pray for rain as the Beehive State lugs through a historic drought.

Over 90% of the state is experiencing extreme drought and over 62% is in exceptional drought — the most severe level listed by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Officials added current soil moisture is also at the lowest levels since monitoring began in 2006, which only add fuel to the flame when it comes to wildfire risks.

“They’re seeing soil temperatures much higher,” said Todd Adams, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “If we get a fire that starts, it’s going to last much longer.”

KSL-TV spoke with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, which said the state will continue to monitor conditions and they haven’t ruled out banning fireworks this season.

“We’re hot and dry and it’s a tinder box up there,” Adams said.

KSL 5 TV Live

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