Dichotomy of Independence Day in the Southwest

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Squidgie, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Squidgie

    Squidgie
    Utah
    Member

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    As I type this, there are some fantastic fireworks displays going on all around me.
    I live in a far 'corner' of the Salt Lake Valey, and have a 25 mile view of private, city-sponsored, county-sponsored, and state-sponsored fireworks shows. Given the right vantage point, the view is amazing. It's great to see so many people celebrating this important day with such extravagant displays.

    But, there are also many fires burning out of control. From my backyard, I can see two major wildfires working their way into the valley. From my front yard, I can see 8 fires burning their way down the mountains, 1 fire burning in a subdivision that was under construction, and a house that went up in flames about 35 minutes ago.

    Although this is actually a pretty slow year for fires (statistically, you have to go back to 2003 for a slower year, then back to the early '90s for the next step down), the fires have gotten more media attention than in the past. And, the fires seem to have "hit home" with more people this year, since they are closer to the suburbs and there have been far more evacuations and structures lost (homes/cabins/sheds/power stations) than in comparable previous years.

    Like the desert around us, my own yard, landscaping "greenery", and trees are suffering this year. Everything is tinder-dry, and ready to ignite instantly.

    With deplorable conditions, fires all around us, and (already short-handed) fire departments struggling to keep up with brush and house fires; I just can't understand why so many individuals are choosing to keep launching these aerial fireworks.

    Celebrating a historical victory that lead to the country we have today is definitely a worthy cause. But, burning everything around us to the ground seems like a rather stiff penalty to pay, when we could celebrate in other ways.

    The only reason I'm even watching the fireworks tonight, is because I'm on fire watch on my property. I've already had the smoldering remnants of some mortar shells ignite some dry weeds. God forbid something lands in one of the pine trees close the house... I don't think the house would survive.

    As I ponder our Independence, I take (little) comfort in my sprinkler system, and the high pressure our city water supply allows me to get out of our garden hoses...


    Edit: In the time it took to write this message, I have learned that yet another fire has been ignited in a wheat field (surrounded by subdivisions) about 1/2 mile from my home.
    (The wheat is dead, because of water restrictions. So, ignition was probably instantaneous.)
     
  2. Joe Link

    Joe Link
    Portland, OR
    Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, that's a sad situation. You'd think they'd take the danger of fire into consideration. While fireworks are synonymous with July 4th, I'd be in favor of canceling the shows with that potential danger.

    Are personal arial fireworks legal in Arizona?
     
  3. Squidgie

    Squidgie
    Utah
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    I have no idea about Arizona, but Utah only just legalized certain aerial fireworks last year. There are additional restrictions to purchase them, only certain types are allowed, and they can only be used in approved areas.
     

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