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Firework sales take hit over wildfire concerns

By John Daley | Posted - Jul. 4, 2012 at 8:56 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — With intense drought conditions and fires burning around the state, fireworks are under greater scrutiny, and firework sales are feeling the pressure.

Matt Shadle, owner of Aurora Ventures fireworks stands, says that his sales are down between 20 and 35 percent, a decrease he attributes to fire concerns.

And those who live in areas without restrictions plan to use caution as they light off their new fireworks.

"I mean we check obviously to see where they are banned, if they're banned, and then we're in a cul de sac, and there's no open grass fields around there, we've got our hoses out, buckets of water for the little ones, to throw them in, once they're done," said West Jordan resident Jeff Lynch, who was purchasing some different fireworks this year, just for fun.

"This is a new one that I'm going to try out this year, I always love the bug zappers, the sky spiders, so I had to get some of those and I never had these before but they look really good," he said.

Still, the number of wildfires has some concerned about fireworks sparking more. An online petition urging a statewide fireworks ban has nearly 7,000 signatures. Shadle doesn't see a ban happening, though.

"(It's) like the guy yesterday, his bulldozer started that fire up in Alpine. What, are we going to ban bulldozers and the gun bullet that went off out here? What are we going to do? Ban guns?" he said. "Come on. We can't ban guns. We can't ban bulldozers and we sure can't ban fireworks."

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