(KCPW News) With the Fourth of July comes fireworks season. For many Utahns, this means an annual trip to Wyoming to purchase fireworks that are illegal here. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder wants people to know that the police will be paying attention.
"The bottom line is people do disregard the advisories regularly. It's unfortunate because the sole purpose of this initiative is to try and prevent fires which can quickly grow out of control given the conditions we face," says Winder.
Winder says his office receives hundreds of calls concerning fireworks each year on both the 4th and 24th of July. He advises those calling to be specific about what they are witnessing because those complaint calls have to be prioritized. Officers will use discretion when it comes to punishing those who are either using illegal fireworks or lighting them in restricted areas. However, Winder says those caught using the illegal kind will lose them.
"And that often causes quite a bit of consternation because people spend a substantial amount of money on these things," says Winder. "If we catch you with them we'll take them and destroy them."
Under state law, possessing illegal fireworks is a Class B misdemeanor. Violators face a maximum of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
The Unified Fire Authority has released a list of approved fireworks, and areas in Salt Lake County where fireworks of any kind are restricted.
Fire District Areas in Salt Lake County: East of Wasatch Boulevard South and West of U-111 (Approximately 8400 West)
Alta: Complete ban within city limits
Holladay City: East of Wasatch Boulevard
Cottonwood Heights: East of Wasatch Boulevard
Riverton City: No restrictions within city boundaries
Draper City: West of I-15, South of 13800 South
East of Highland Drive
Taylorsville City: No restrictions within city boundaries
Herriman City: North of 12600 South (except the sub-division of Copper Creek), South of 14200 South,
West of 6800 W