Extreme caution stressed for use of fireworks over the Fourth of July

Friday, June 22, 2012

With wildfire season in full swing in many states, the importance of understanding risks associated with using fireworks is a common message being spread by forestry and firefighting agencies.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its Fireworks report which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. The report shows that in 2010 alone, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks and that there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Drought conditions and higher than normal temperatures nationwide, have made this an issue for all states. In Kentucky, State Forester Leah MacSwords is working with the media to get the word out. "Given the current drought conditions, we urge Kentuckians across the state to take extra precaution when using fireworks this holiday season. Sparks from fireworks can and do ignite wildfires especially in dried grass and fields, and the slightest wind can make these fires spread quickly,' she said.