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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Some communities are putting the official kibosh on fireworks over fears the holiday traditions will set fires in tinderbox-dry parts of the state entering its sixth year of drought.
Both the Fourth of July and Utah's Pioneer Day on July 24 are commonly celebrated with fireworks, but Utah Fire Marshal Gary Wise said he expected agencies around the state to soon begin imposing prohibitions.
"I think that they'll be some restrictions in some specific areas, only because it's routine," Wise said Friday.
The Cedar City Council already has, this week enacting a fireworks ban within city limits.
Residents will only be allowed to ignite fireworks in the parking lots of Cedar City High School, Bicentennial Park, and Canyon View High School three days before and three days after the July Fourth and Pioneer Day holidays.
The extent of Salt Lake City's fireworks ban is expected to be released next week, but fire department spokesman Dennis McKone said it will look similar to years' past when fireworks were banned in most parts of the state's largest city.
In Bountiful, the yearly fireworks restriction goes into effect July 1 and runs through the end of September. It makes it a misdemeanor to light fireworks in the eastern part of the city.
Other areas, like Cache County, are taking a wait-and-see approach. "I think we'll be OK up until the Fourth of July," said Cache County Assistant Fire Chief Craig Humphreys.
"There may be some restrictions by July 24," he said, depending on the weather.
U.S. Forest Spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock said there's no open-fire restrictions, but has not ruled them out as a possibility.
"We're still really green. The fuel moistures are pretty high because we keep getting the cooler temperatures and cloudy weather," she said.
Pollock also said any prescribed burns they planned in northern Utah have been postponed until the fall.
As of Friday, Gov. Olene Walker also had no plans for imposing a statewide fireworks ban, said spokeswoman Amanda Covington.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)