Yes, Utah's weather will be hot as a firecracker this week, and the combination of Independence Day pyrotechnics, triple-digit temperatures and extremely dry conditions has the region's fire departments on high alert.
Statewide, fireworks were banned on all state and federal public lands, including Utah's tinder-dry forests and park lands. Most cities and counties also had strict limits in place on fireworks use through the holiday period.
In Salt Lake City, fireworks could only be set off 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 7, and then only in approved areas (see sidebar for more information on that). Banned were fireworks that explode, along with "roman candle" or "bottle rocket" type products, or any fireworks that travel more than 15 feet into the air, or 10 feet on the ground.
Under clear skies, the capital city looked for a high of 102 degrees on Independence Day, up 4 degrees from Monday's forecast. Wednesday will see 101 degrees. While hot, those temperatures fall 2-3 degrees below record-setting territory.
Southern Utahns will bake under the summer sun, too, but again the region will not see historical-level heat. July Fourth brings 105-degree weather to St. George, up 2 degrees from Monday; Wednesday is expected to reach 106 in Utah's Dixie. All those predictions are 10-11 degrees shy of records.
As for air quality? Horrible. The Utah Division of Air Quality placed Salt Lake, Davis, Weber. Box Elder, Tooele and Washington in the "orange," or unhealthy for sensitive groups category; the rest of the state was little better, being given "yellow" grades for moderate levels of particulate pollution through Wednesday.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website adds that mold and plantain were "high" and grass "moderate" on its pollen index as of Monday.
For more extensive forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/news/weather/.
Discharging Fireworks and Safety Precautions •
Fireworks may be discharged in approved areas only (restricted areas listed below):
Only Class 1.4G fireworks that cannot travel more than 15' in to the air (vertically) or 10' on the ground (horizontally) are state approved for residential and recreational use.
Fireworks that explode (fire crackers) are prohibited.
Fireworks such as bottle rockets and roman candles are strictly prohibited.
No fireworks discharge shall be allowed within the distance of one hundred fifty feet (150) of the fireworks stand or trailer.
Parents are strongly encouraged to supervise their children while using fireworks.
Please keep a bucket of water nearby to place spent fireworks in for at least twelve (12) hours before discarding into a garbage can.
The following areas are restricted from any open fires or fireworks use:
— All areas east of Foothill Drive, and east of 1300 E to 500 S, including the University of Utah campus.
— All areas north of South Temple to State Street and North Temple to 200 West.
— City Creek Canyon.
— East of 200 West and Wall Street to 300 West, east 300 West north of Wall Street through Beck Street to the city limit to the north.
— All city parks and wildland urban interface areas
— All areas west of Interstate 215
— Source: Salt Lake City Fire Department