Summit County emergency officials urging safety this Fourth of July as fire danger spikes |

Summit County emergency officials urging safety this Fourth of July as fire danger spikes

Summit Daily staff report

Summit County’s fire departments and law enforcement agencies are coming together to remind residents and visitors alike that campfires and fireworks are strictly prohibited throughout the high country this Fourth of July.

“Because of the extremely dry conditions we felt it was necessary to enact fire restrictions,” said Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, . There is currently a Stage 2 restriction throughout the county banning outdoor fires, outdoor smoking, charcoal grills and other activities. “All you have to do is look around at our vegetation and see that now is not the time to have a fire and risk jeopardizing our communities.”

All public fireworks displays throughout Summit County have been cancelled rather than risk the possibility of inadvertently starting another wildfire and officials are urging residents and visitors to make the same decision.

“The last thing we want is for someone to start a fire or injure themselves or those around them because of an irresponsible act such as setting off fireworks with our tinder-dry conditions,” said Summit Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Berino. “I get a strong sense from our community members that such reckless behavior will not be tolerated, and anyone participating will be rightfully reported to the authorities.”

Red White & Blue Fire Chief Jim Keating added that the county’s emergency services are well prepared for a fire response, but said that citizen education and preparedness is also vital in preventing wildfires.

“We ask our citizens to be vigilant and immediately report to authority any fires, fireworks or unsafe practice that could cause a fire,” said Keating. “During times of critical forest-fire conditions, the immediate reporting of an incident or possible issue can have a huge effect on the successful outcome of that incident.”

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