Fireworks not covered in state “no burn order”

Published 8:39 am Monday, June 27, 2011

A statewide “no burn order” remains in effect due to significant drought conditions across Alabama, but fireworks are still in season for Demopolis residents.

The city’s fireworks ordinance allows for the discharging of Class C fireworks between the dates of June 20 and July 4.

Still, given the increased danger of wildfire activity, state and local officials are offering a word of caution to local celebrators.

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“We are encouraging everyone to be careful lighting those fireworks and everything,” Demopolis chief of police Tommie Reese said. “We are in a drought.”

While there are no active wildfires in the state, statistics from the State Forestry Commission showed 78 such blazes in the last seven days, 484 in the last 30 days and a total of 2,094 wildfires in 2011.

Those numbers have accounted for the burning of more than 51,000 acres of land since January 1.

In Marengo County, there have been six wildfires covering approximately 20 acres of land in the last 30 days.

While the “no burn order” is designed to reduce the likelihood of wildfire ignition, the ordinance from the governor’s office does not cover fireworks.

“As of right now, we cannot regulate fireworks ourselves,” local forester Billy Carlisle, who was part of a team that helped put out a blaze in Clarke County Monday, said.

“As far as I understand, it is perfectly legal to sell and possess fireworks.

“The no burn order does not apply to the fireworks, but if a fire was to be started by the use of fireworks, we could take legal action.”

While the sell and discharging of fireworks is legal in Demopolis, the situation will be under review in Linden at its upcoming council meeting set for Tuesday.

At its last meeting, the council voted to disallow the sale of fireworks in Linden in view of the “no burn order.”

However, the Linden City Council’s vote did not address the discharging of fireworks within the city limits.

“As far as the council is concerned, we did not address that issue at that particular meeting,” Linden mayor Mitzi Gates said. “(Banning the sale of fireworks within the city limits) was in the interest of public safety.”