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Gov. calls the legal situation 'complicated'

Published: Monday, July 2 2012 8:32 p.m. MDT

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Steve G.
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

For those wondering if fireworks have caused any fires I offer the following quote from a KSL TV news story of June 28: "Fireworks were being blamed for starting the Pole Creek Fire on Wednesday near Neola, Duchesne County. The fire had burned 1,342 acres as of Thursday with zero percent containment". An there is another valid reason to ban fireworks right now; air quality. This is a headline from a srory in today's Deseret News:
"Multiple counties throughout the most populated areas in Utah are under an action alert."
Ban fireworks now!

emp1
Provo, UT

Banning fireworks and target shooting for a season may decrease the chances of a fire but it really would not solve the problem. Bottom line is...people have to be careful and if they are not, then consequences must be applied.
Instead of banning anything, just make the people causing these problems responsible for their actions. Obviously, they will not be able to pay back the damage by monetary means but they can do years of community service or even jail time if necessary (especially now that we are on alert).
The majority of fires have been cause by single individuals not by an entire state. Let's not overreact.

Tyme2
Murray, UT

So you think banning target shooting is going to solve anything. My guess is next they will think they are going to ban hunting, someone might miss their deer and start a fire. Lets get real people, just be smart about how you do things.

Serenity
Manti, UT

I was thinking on how all this dry weather and fireworks bans will effect those poor people who wait all year so they can make money running those firework stands. As we were driving home, I saw several of these stands and they had no customers at that time. This drought is hurting a lot of people. I feel sorry for the people who run those fireworks stands because they count on making money this time of the year.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

I understand that conditions are extreme. And there are risks, particularly near the foothills. In the valley, it would be more effective, however, to enforce the ordinances regarding keeping open lots/fields cleared and mowed, than to ban fireworks. As others have noted, not a single fire has been ignited by fireworks. Ad if brush and folliage near homes were cleared, the risks if there is an ignition from any source would be greatly diminished.

The fireworks sold in Utah only fly 150 feet and, have quick cool-down design features to reduce risk. If shot off in a city setting where lawns are watered, brush is cleared, etc., the risks are very low.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

To CHS 85,

Whoever owns the undeveloped land in your neighborhood should be required to keep the grass/brush cut. In our city out east, if you did not keep your undeveloped land in the city limits cleared, the city would inspect and have the land cleared at the owner's expense. There was a 15 day or so notification and warning period, then the lot/land was cleared by the city. There was a maximum height for brush set by city ordinance.

utesovertide
Salt Lake City, UT

CHS 85,

Just curious, but if you have a tinder dry field next to your house, why not deal with that problem on an individual or small community level and get it to a state where the grasses, etc, are less of a fire hazard. Get someone to cut the grasses down with a large field mower, or something to that effect.

Yes, there are risky spots in the valley, but if the communities would get together with volunteer groups and such, you would be able to substantially reduce the risk in a few hours of work.

I work with pyrotechnics a lot and know that trees don't catch fire as easily as you might think. It is the grasses, brush, and other dry vegetation that cause the bulk of the problem, Which makes solving the problem that much more straight forward.

Why wait for an "act of Congress"? Let's solve the actual problems in the valley instead of hoping people with less common sense will follow some law or restriction.

utesovertide
Salt Lake City, UT

In fact, since I doubt much snowplow budget was used this year due to the mild winter, why not expend some of that money and get the communities, cities, and State to put some resources into cutting down and removing the fuels from the 'tinder dry' areas?

Obviously, this isn't possible in wilderness areas, so that's why strict bans should be enforced there. But in other areas where it makes sense, let's fight it from the other direction by reducing the concentration of dry fuels.

ProudUtahn
St. George, Utah

Most of the posts I have read are overreating. It has been against the law to set off fireworks all year except a few special times. I hear them going off long before they should.
Hunting is illegal except during the season with the right licence. We hear of poaching all year long. My point is we do not need more laws and wait for the politicians to do something.
Educate our selves, be cautious, inform others, pay attention when others are doing something that is not sensible,note it down,turn in the licence plate numbers or peoples names that were in the area fires start so the Governer and other officials can have it investigated and make charges when appropriate. You cannot legislate stupidity but can charge for the results and hope the lesson is learned at that time.

MOMS
Salt Lake City, UT

I love the picture with the aricle. Target practice against a rock wall. FIRE. FIRE.

Oh, the Governor means a different type of fire. What a silly man.

Tiger5
Cache county, USA

Let see.
Im from Oregon, where we have nice wet ground.
You guys live in Utah where it's nice and dry.
Oregon is nice and liberal.
Utah is nice and conservative, like me.
Utah gets wild fires, and guns are to blame.
Utah, a state where hunting and guns bring in probably a 500 million dollars a year in revenue.
Explain this. How does a bullet start a fire? Think before you answer this.

not here
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

The Pole Creek is said to have been started by fire works so that is at least one.

collegestudent25
Cedar City, UT

I still do not believe target shooting with regular ammunition could cause a fire. Some have "admitted" that they started fires target shooting. I don't believe it. I think they started the fire doing something they shouldn't have been doing and blamed it on target shooting. Maybe there should be a ban on throwing rocks too. You can generate just as much sparks and heat doing that. I really don't care if they ban target shooting now I just don't like ideas being passed as fact.

Fitz
Murray, UT

Everybody on this comment board has one thing in common, they all read or listen to the news.

But, and this is the real point, there are so many out there that do not listen, read, or watch the news. That the Governor says to use common sense, that the fire experts say don't do this or that, is never heard by a whole lot of people. And then there are those that hear these warnings, but they are of the opinion that it will never happen to them. As for banning fireworks, you can ban all you want. Fireworks will still be set off, curfews will be ignored, bottle rockets (illegal all the time) will be set off, as will fire crackers (also illegal in Utah all the time).

With the lack of enforcement over the years, the turning of a blind eye of law enforcement, the crying of wolf so many times, people just don't listen or they don't believe those in authority. As Forest Gump's mommy taught him, "Stupid is as stupid does". And there are always some that think they are exempt.

tabuno
Clearfield, UT

If we are leave the responsibility of local governments to decide on whether or not to restrict fireworks and to what extent, then shouldn't each local government assume sole responsibility of the consequences of their decisions. Why should one city or county offer to help with a fire caused by fireworks in another jurisdiction if that government decided to allow fireworks and another didn't. Why should some taxpayers have to pay for another jurisdictions deciding to offer more freedom and liberty to their residents while while taxpayers and their governments in another jurisdiction are more responsible and restrict fireworks? Where is the fairness in that? This is similar to what's going on in Europe and having Germany bail out other less responsible European governments.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

Pretty easy. Shooting at exploding targets is what caused one or two fires and is already banned.

Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

Utah 1.
So ban exploding targets.
I'm a huge hunting/gun guy, and I have never figured out why exploding targets are legal.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

I heard a satistic about the fires in Utah this year. So far we have had about 400 man caused fires, and only 20 were caused by guns. That is 5% of all the fires. Doesn't that mean that there is a bigger problem out there then guns?

Why go after the smallest problem, shouldn't we be going after what is causing the greatest number of fires?

Freedom-In-Danger
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

So... if I built a swimming pool in the middle of an acre of concrete, would I get arrested for lighting a firework over the pool? Blanket decisions like this are bad for law as they exclude the possibility of lawful actions. What's worse is when the vast majority of fires are not caused by fireworks anyway. Maybe they should ban people jumping as they don't want it to induce an Earthquake... you know, cause we're prone to have those too.

Freedom-In-Danger
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

WAIT! I got it!

We should just ban lightening!! That's a great idea. Now fires will NEVER happen again. lol No fireworks, no lightening, no fun, no rubbing feat on carpets either (friction = heat = fire risk). It all makes perfect sense now!

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