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Weather Officials Issue Warning

Weather Officials Issue Warning

Posted - Jul. 1, 2003 at 7:38 a.m.



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(Salt Lake City-KSL TV/AP) -- Weather officials have issued a red-flag warning for western Utah.

That means high temperatures, strong winds and low moisture are causing extreme fire danger. The National Weather Service says there's no relief in sight for the next few days at least.

Western Utah valleys will be particularly vulnerable to the danger. In the Tooele area, winds are expected to be 20 to 30 miles per hour today.

Yesterday, the Salt Lake area reached 100 degrees for the first time this year. That's earlier than normal.

Fireworks Warning

John Daley reporting

According to firefighters, there are 10 times more calls for grass fires than anything else once fireworks go on sale. And with hot temperatures and dry vegetation throughout the state, fire danger is extremely high right now.

We went out to Fire Station #9, west of the Salt Lake Airport. There, firefighters showed us just how dry and dangerous conditions are, by dropping a match into a field of grass.

Almost instantly the grasses burst into flames. It was amazing to see how quickly the fire spread and how hot things got almost instantly.

The fire gobbled up a 50-foot area in less than a minute.

In many places fireworks are banned this summer, including west of I-215.

Anyone using fireworks elsewhere is urged to be prepared, just in case.

Dean Peterson/ Engineer/Salt Lake Fire Dept.: "Make sure you have a bucket of water or some kind of extinguishent with you. The fire really gets going fast and just runs away from you."

The other major danger with fireworks is injury due to the explosion of a firework.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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