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Drought Raises Concerns About July 4 Fireworks

Last updated on Monday, June 18, 2012

(UNDATED) - Indiana’s lingering drought is raising concerns that the use of fireworks during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday could spark sizable fires in tinder-dry fields.

State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says it's not just cities and towns' pyrotechnic shows that pose a threat. He says small fireworks, cookouts and bonfires that are popular during the holiday could start fires in the dry conditions that would spread rapidly.

Officials want you to use common sense when setting off fireworks. Remember that whatever goes up must come down, and if it's on fire, there's a good chance it will set the grass on fire.

While the dry conditions concern fire officials in Indiana communities, there are no immediate plans in those municipalities to ban fireworks.

Indiana's Department of Homeland Security shows burn bans in 20 counties right now.

The State Fire Marshall says there is no plan to restrict the use of fireworks but wants everyone to be extra careful. That goes for any type of fire, even grilling. Indianapolis Battalion Fire Chief Fred Pervine says there is no burn ban in Indianapolis, but there is a request to be extremely careful.

"When you are setting out camp fires, make sure that those fires are out, make sure you have water, make sure you have a water hose. Make sure you're 15 feet away from structures, make sure it's always supervised," said Pervine.

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