Purchase photos

No bombs bursting in air, city reminds residents

7/3/2013

Hays officials reminded residents Tuesday to respect the city's ban on fireworks during the July 4 holiday.

"To help keep our community safe, the police department will be aggressively enforcing the fireworks ban," said Assistant Police Chief Brian Dawson. "We encourage citizens to report illegal fireworks use by calling dispatch at (785) 625-1011."

Fire Chief Gary Brown said national statistics show approximately 17,800 fires each year caused by fireworks.

"Because of the ongoing drought, all the outdoor combustibles are dry and fire can spread very fast," he said. "A small fire can grow and spread quickly."

Hays' limited water resources, he said, shouldn't have to be used to fight a fire that can be avoided.

"We're most concerned with fireworks, where a burning piece of a firework gets up into the eaves of a building or somehow gets into a crack or crevice and people don't see that fire until sometime later when it grows and becomes more significant," Brown said.

The fine for a fireworks violation is $120.

* DAWNE LEIKER, HDN