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Huntington City to cancel fireworks: other changes to July 4 celebration

Huntington City has officially canceled their annual display due to existing fire conditions. Mayor Hilary Gordon, along with councilman Julie Jones, met with Fire Chief Pete Alger, Emery County Commissioner JR Nelson, Sheriff Greg Funk and Captain Kyle Ekker last Saturday to examine the options this year for fireworks, both the kind professionally lit and do it yourself fireworks.

After considering the fires already burning throughout the state and especially right here in our own backyard, considering the dry conditions, the hot temperature, the lack of rainfall and the lack of humidity, the Mayor concluded that the only choice and the right choice was to cancel the Heritage Days fireworks show.

In conjunction with that decision, Huntington City also followed the Utah Governor's advice and banned fireworks anywhere in the city with one exception. On the fourth of July, and probably the 24th of July, the city will only allow fireworks to be used at the ball field in the city park by the elementary school from the hours of 9-11 p.m. No aerial fireworks will be allowed. This is on July 4th only.

Violation of the above is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine according to Utah State Code 65-A8212. The use of fireworks outside of incorporated cities was banned earlier last week by the Utah governor as he put a statewide ban on setting off fireworks. Canyon View Junior High School in Huntington has been turned into a small city occupied by between 400 and 500 firefighters who will call this home for the next several weeks as they fight the Seeley fire. They come almost as a self-contained unit with everything they will need to sustain life as they go about their duties of fighting fires.

Because of the occupation of the school, Huntington City has found it necessary to rearrange some of their Heritage Days events. The lawn mower races have been canceled. The pre-fireworks concert scheduled at the school has been moved to the city park. The stage will set up on Center Street and will face the grass and the pavilion. The band Haywire will play from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Emery County officials would like the other Emery County cities to do likewise to cancel their fireworks this season. Sheriff Greg Funk said, "I am grateful that Huntington has done this and I hope that the other Emery County towns will do the same thing."

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