Officials warn of fire dangers with fireworks

Dry weather increases risk of fires

Fireworks and fire danger are setting up a potentially risky situation for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

In the city of Madison and most municipalities, nothing but sparklers or ground fireworks are legal, but there’s some concern even about the fire risk involved there.

The Madison Fire Department said people need to be extra vigilant about where they’re lighting these fireworks because of the terribly dry grass in most lawns.

Fire officials said they’re aware some even ignore the ordinances and try use pyrotechnics that “go up or blow up,” but they said that carries an especially large risk this year.

Cornellier Fireworks in Windsor sells those larger fireworks for use only in places where they are legal. But store managers urge precautions so people don’t end up with a large fire.

“Have a 10-pound fire extinguisher nearby, a garden hose and use a flat surface,” said Kyle Cary, general manager of Cornellier Fireworks. “Even wet down the area for five minutes before you start lighting.”

Cary said sales this week have been slow, but there are still two weeks to go.

“My hope, and anyone in the fireworks industry hopes, that we do get some wet weather coming our way,” Cary said.

Depending on how much longer these conditions persist, fire departments around the area said they may step up education on or enforcement of those firework ordinances.

Fire officials said most professional fireworks displays should be fine because of strict safety guidelines and backup on hand in case of any issues.