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Drought prompts some communities to change fireworks plan

The increasing heat and drought conditions have prompted some communities to change their plans for the Fourth of July and announce bans on open burning.

Conditions are extremely dry and under such conditions fires can start even from a small spark. Caution is urged for those setting off fireworks at home and those who smoke should be extra vigilant about disposing of cigarettes properly.

We will continue to update the situation as more information becomes available.

Freedom Fest to go forward

The whole works will go on in Bismarck, including the parade, classic car cruise-in watermelon eating festival and the fireworks show.

Mel Jordan, Bismarck Chamber of Commerce chairman, said the Fire Department will be spraying down the field where the fireworks are shot to ensure a safe show.

Freedom Fest kicks off at 7 p.m. Tuesday night with a battle of the bands and street dance, s as well as a softball tournament.

The parade starts at 9 a.m. and the day includes many fun activities, including a watermelon eating contest. The fireworks go off at 9:15 p.m.

“People from communities that won’t be having a fireworks display this year, we would love for them to come on out and watch ours,” Jordan said. “We have lots of things to do for all ages.”

Bonne Terre Fireworks still on

The fireworks are still on but the Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce will not be offering concessions during the fireworks display July 4 after all.

The city has decided to close the ballfields behind city hall that day due to the 2012 Babe Ruth Softball Missouri State Tournament which will be held there and in the dairy fields July 6-8. The state tournament will draw hundreds of players of all ages from all over the state.

The city park will be available for viewing.

Fire officials have said it is OK to go ahead with the fireworks display despite the drought conditions since it is being shot from the chat pile.

Lake Timberline fireworks canceled

Lake Timberline Paddle Club has canceled their fireworks display set for June 30  due to the excessive heat and drought conditions. The event will be rescheduled for July 7.

Park Hills fireworks planned, but open burning banned

A ban on open burning has been announced and homeowners are urged to exercise caution for any fireworks they plan to shoot.

The annual Fourth of July celebration is at the Sports Complex with the traditional live music and fireworks.

Jackson Brothers Band will perform from 6:30 p.m. until nearly 9 p.m. The band plays classic rock and blues.

Fireworks will begin from 8:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. This year, the city has even more fireworks than last year, City Administrator John Kennedy said.

All are welcome to attend. Bring your own chairs.

The ban on open burning was announced by Park Hills Fire Chief Jackie Wagganer and is effective immediately. 

Park Hills has been included in the D2 drought designation area by the National Weather Service (NWS). The city and surrounding area may become designated D3 for extreme drought in the next NWS review, Wagganer said.

In accord with the safety concerns, the mayor and the city administrator have stopped issuing any new burning permits for the foreseeable future.

Wagganer has asked firefighters to contact an officer in the department if they see anyone violating the open burning ban. The public is asked to call 9-1-1 quickly in the event of a fire sighting now that no open burning is allowed.

“Please be careful with home fireworks displays,” Wagganer requested of the public. “Some outdoor fires have already resulted from fireworks this season. The city staff wishes you and your family a happy and safe Independence Day.”

Farmington cancels fireworks show

FARMINGTON — Due to dry conditions and heightened fire danger, Farmington’s Fourth of July fireworks display has been canceled and all open burning within city limits has been suspended until further notice.

The event was to have been held at Engler Park, with a concert starting at 7 p.m.

With current forecast conditions, including excessive heat, low humidity, little to no precipitation and existing severe drought conditions, the danger for an uncontrolled accidental fire are too great to proceed with the public fireworks display. These same conditions have led to the decision to suspend all authorized burning until further notice.

Until substantial precipitation occurs to reverse the severe to extreme drought conditions, open burning will not be permitted. Expect this open burning ban to be in place for a substantial period of time based on current precipitation outlooks.

Please remember the discharge of fireworks within Farmington city limits is prohibited. Due to the dry conditions which required the cancelation of the public fireworks display, the Farmington Police will strictly enforce the ban on public fireworks being discharged. The strict enforcement of the ban is directly related to the inherent danger to public safety from accidental and uncontrolled fires.

Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately if they observe an uncontrolled fire. Rapid detection is key to limiting damage and lowering the risk for potential injuries.

If residents observe any open burning please notify the Farmington Fire Department at 756-2324 or the Farmington Police Department at 756-6686.

If residents observe the illegal discharge of fireworks with the City of Farmington contact the Farmington Police Department at 756-6686.

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