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Know the areas firework rules or pay the price

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 4:54 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The founding fathers themselves found fireworks to be spectacular enough to mark the birth of the United States of America, but they probably didn’t predict the fire hazards during droughts.

According to Monica Colby of the Rapid City Fire Department, 6% of every outside fire is started from a firework.

“Yeah, you know, if we’d been thinking about it years ago, we probably wouldn’t have chosen the 4th of July as a fireworks holiday, but that’s what it’s become. It’s a really dangerous time here to have fireworks,” said Colby.

Despite recent moisture to the Black Hills, the dry weather is expected to return at full force and it’s important to know what the rules are for shooting off fireworks at home.

In Rapid City, novelty fireworks like sparklers or poppers are able to be used, but when it comes to the larger fireworks it’s best to leave those to the professionals.

Officials encourage everyone to pick from the many fireworks displays around town.

These displays are heavily monitored and the professional quality fireworks are shot higher into the sky than consumer fireworks.

“In the Black Hills Fire Protection District, which is the Black Hills and anywhere that’s not a city along the Black Hills, there are no fireworks at all that are allowed,” said Colby.

Other unincorporated areas, cities, and counties allow fireworks on certain days.

If fireworks start a fire somewhere the pyrotechnics aren’t allowed, that’s reckless burning and could cost you.

“So, you start a fire and it spreads big like the Schroeder fire, all of the other fire departments that come and help us for that, they bill us for that. We use tax money to pay for that, but if you started the fire doing something dangerous you know was dangerous, you knew was wrong, and this year that is a definite possibility, we can ask you to pay for the full cost of that fire,” explained Colby.

Possing or igniting fireworks in the Black Hills can also lead to fines.

To avoid this, follow the local guidelines for where you plan to hold your 4th of July fun.

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