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Officials promote safe Pioneer Day displays

With dry conditions fire hazards will be prominent on July 24.

Sun Advocate reporter

Utah celebrates Pioneer Day Thursday in remembrance Mormon settlers as they reached the Wasatch Valley.

Completing a treacherous thousand-mile exodus, an ill and exhausted Brigham Young and fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints arrived in Utah's Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The Mormon pioneers viewed their arrival as the founding of the Mormon homeland and thus created Pioneer Day, according to Wikipidia.

According to Wikipidia, The Mormons, as they were commonly known, were forced to leave their prior settlement in Nauvoo, Ill. and began the long journey West seeking refuge from intense religious persecution.

The final impetus for their trek was the murder of founder and proposed prophet Joseph Smith on June 27, 1844. Determined to settle in an isolated region, the pioneers made their way across the plains and over the Rocky Mountains to Utah. They lost many of their party to disease during the winter months. By the time that they reached Utah, the desolate valley was a welcome sight. Potatoes and turnips were soon planted, and a dam was built. With solemn ceremonies, the settlers consecrated the two-square-mile city, and sent back word that the "promised land" had been found. By the end of 1847, nearly 2,000 Mormons had settled in the Wasatch Front according to Wikipidia.

The holiday has lasted the test of time and is now one of Utah's busiest days of the year. The main event of the day is a parade in down town Salt Lake City and it has become common around the state to set off fireworks in the evening hours.

The setting off of fireworks in the dry summer months can lead to catastrophe if not done correctly and in proper areas. Children should always be closely supervised when using fireworks to avoid any unnecessary accidents or fires.

"Every year hundreds of children are injured as a result of fires. A little pre-planning will not only give you peace of mind but it may save your life and the lives of your children," said Price Fire Chief, Paul Bedont.

According to the fire chief, the recommended pre-planning tips include:

•Making sure children know what to do in the event of a fire.

•Having an escape plan should smoke detectors activate.

The escape plans should include all bedrooms, since the majority of home fires happen at night.

•Determining a safe place where family members can meet after exiting the home so everyone can be accounted for.

•Making sure children know how and when to call 911 in an emergency.

•Teaching children to do the same thing at home as they do during fire drills at school.

•Making sure that all smoke alarms in homes are the appropriate type.

•Checking smoke detectors and replacing batteries on a regular basis.

"If you have any questions about fire safety, you are encouraged to contact your local fire department," said Bedont. "We hope you consider us a resource to help you and your family to be safe from the tragedies which a fire can create."

The Price City Fire Department may be reached by dialing 636-3187.

But Carbon County residents should remember to call 911 in the event of an emergency, stressed the Price fire chief.

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