Salt Lake City, UT

Heat wave in the West raises wildfire fears ahead of July 4 celebrations

News Everyday

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Concerns about wildfires and the risks associated with fireworks are increasing due to the forecast of extremely hot and dry conditions across a large portion of the Western region until the Fourth of July.

In response, officials in Salt Lake City have decided to replace their usual fireworks display with a drone light show.

Parts of Nevada, California, and Arizona, which had previously cancelled live fireworks shows due to drought, are now able to bring them back thanks to an abnormally wet winter and spring.

However, the threat of wildfires is increasing as temperatures are expected to reach triple digits this weekend.

Phoenix, for instance, may experience temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius). Last year, the shortage of professional-grade fireworks led to cancellations, but this year the traditional red-white-and-blue bursts will resume on Independence Day.

For the first time ever, Salt Lake City in Utah is opting to replace fireworks with a spectacular drone show. Most suburbs and neighbouring towns still have plans for fireworks.

This week, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall emphasised the importance of being mindful of air quality and the risk of wildfires as temperatures continue to increase.

Once again, Flagstaff, Arizona opts for a laser light show instead of traditional explosions. Communities on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, which is located on the California-Nevada line, will commemorate the occasion with a drone show.

This initiative was introduced last year as a result of ongoing concerns about drought and the potential for wildfires.

However, the customary festivity is making a comeback to the primary casino strip on the south shore of Tahoe. It is anticipated that around 100,000 spectators will gather to witness the fireworks display, which will be set off from barges, illuminating the sky above the beautiful alpine lake.

Las Vegas is also anticipating large crowds, with temperatures expected to exceed 110 F (43 C). Authorities are encouraging residents to refrain from using personal fireworks and instead appreciate the ones being set off from casino rooftops.

According to Marilyn Kirkpatrick, a Clark County Commissioner, it is best to let the professionals handle the large-scale shows.

According to Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade, a fire broke out in vegetation within an older neighbourhood on Friday. This resulted in embers landing on the roofs of at least three houses, causing significant damage. According to him, it emphasised the potential dangers associated with celebrations involving fireworks.

McDade told ABC-15 in Phoenix, the cause of this situation is unknown, but it is important to emphasise that the upcoming Fourth of July will be a lengthy and scorching one.

Following the exceptional winter downpours and a cool spring that stimulated the growth of grasses and brush, California is now experiencing its first significant heat wave.

Excessive-heat warnings will be in effect for the expansive Central Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada throughout the weekend. Death Valley is expected to experience a high temperature of 123 F (50 C).

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