By Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood
It’s been a hot and dry summer full of fires and we are not even in the traditional fire season yet. I just wanted to take a few minutes and update the community on the issues we are facing with these drought conditions this year.
With extreme dry conditions and an abundance of dry fuels in the county, fires are an extreme risk. The community leaders and elected officials have met along with state officials and it has been determined that there will be no fireworks allowed this year in the unincorporated areas of the county. Of course, it goes without saying that aerial fireworks are an extreme risk, but as dry as it is, we fear any spark could ignite a field fire.
The county has chosen to not have a fireworks display this year at the fairgrounds nor will fireworks be allowed at Scofield Pleasant Valley Days. The idea behind this is not only the risk of the fireworks being launched in the air, but especially in Scofield, a hot vehicle parked along the roadside with an abundance of dry fuel, large crowds parked in areas that are not designed for such a crowd, and, of course, other risks such as smoking or other open flames that could come with such an event all pose an extreme risk of fire.
There have been a number of fires in the Carbon County area already this year with the last one being down low in the cedars and was believed to have been ignited by someone firing a rifle. I am serious when I say one spark can ignite an entire field. I am asking that this year everybody be extremely cautious with any fire risk. Once again, I want to say that we are not even in the traditional fire season and have already been dealing with several wildland fires in the county.
The sheriff’s office will be enforcing the fireworks restrictions and will be out patrolling the unincorporated areas of the county. I would recommend that if you live within a city in our county, that you reach out to the city leaders and find out what restrictions are in place; each city may be different. Also, check with any restrictions passed down by state officials on state and federal lands.
I want everyone to enjoy our independence holiday and remember those whom have sacrificed so we can live in the greatest country in the world!