Fire Sea­son, Fire­works Sea­son, or Both?

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Joe Capell

It’s July. Does that mean it’s fire sea­son, or fire­works sea­son? The an­swer, of course, is both — and that can be a prob­lem.

We wait un­til July when all the weeds are dried out and ev­ery­thing is at peak flamma­bil­ity, and then we light the fuse and send ex­plod­ing fire bombs up into the air. And, just in case it wasn’t quite dry enough on the Fourth of July, here in Utah we let things dry out for 20 more days and try it again.

Why July? Wouldn’t it make more sense to light up the sky when the ground is cov­ered with snow on Valen­tine’s Day and Pres­i­dent’s Day? How about Thanks­giv­ing? Wouldn’t fire­works go great with cran­berry sauce? Maybe even St. Patrick’s Day, when ev­ery­thing is green? Nope, we in­sist on dry July.

For­tu­nately, the lo­cal fire de­part­ments work hard to keep ev­ery­one safe. Most of them have re­stric­tions set up as to where fire­works can and can­not be dis­charged. The prob­lem comes when Hank down the street ig­nores the warn­ings and lights off the $60 Wal-Mart pack, or, worse

yet, some of the shoot-’em-up-in-theair fire­works pur­chased semi-legally across the state line.

Even if Hank doesn’t set the neigh­bor­hood ablaze, we still have to deal with him set­ting off fire­crack­ers at all hours of the night. I’ve never un­der­stood the ap­peal of fire­crack­ers: “Yippee, they make a loud noise!” I could get the same re­sult by go­ing around and hit­ting ran­dom peo­ple on the thumb with a ham­mer, only the loud noises I would be cre­at­ing would be more col­or­ful.

And then there are sparklers. Sparklers are the “kid toy” of the fire­works set. We light them on fire, hand them to a kid and say, “Here’s a stick on fire. Feel free to wave it around and have fun; just be sure not to light any­thing else on fire with it, OK? Oh, and while you’re hold­ing it, the flame will be inch­ing ever closer to burn­ing your hand. En­joy!”

Now, I may have given you the im­pres­sion that I don’t like fire­works. That’s not true: I love a good pro­fes­sional fire­works show. When peo­ple who know what they’re do­ing stage fire­works shows while work­ing in con­junc­tion with the lo­cal fire de­part­ments to keep ev­ery­one safe, I’m all for it.

These pro­fes­sional fire­works shows are beau­ti­ful and fan­tas­tic! (I just wish the fi­nale would last a lit­tle longer.)

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