Tuesday, July 03, 2007

COMMUNITIES NIX FIREWORKS ON THE 4TH!











DROUGHT PERSISTS IN WEST AND
SOUTHEAST FIREWORKS CANCELLED!
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
A laser light show will replace traditional
July Fourth fireworks in Burbank, Calif.
Woodstock, Ga., canceled its fireworks
and plans to shoot them off on Halloween.

Dozens of communities in drought-stricken
areas are scrapping public fireworks dis-
plays and cracking down on backyard pyro-
technics to reduce the risk of fires.

"From a fire standpoint and a safety stand-
point, it was an easy call," Burbank Fire
Chief Tracy Pansini says. He recommended
calling off fireworks at the Starlight Bowl
because they're launched from a mountain-
side covered with vegetation that's "all dead."
It's the only time Burbank's fireworks have
been canceled since they were first held at
the amphitheater in 1994. "Ticket sales are
pretty slow" for the night's events, says city
recreation supervisor Cathryn Villalobos.
"People are saying, 'If you're not having fire-
works, we're not coming.' "

Elsewhere: • Alabaster, Ala., canceled its
public fireworks and Fire Chief Frank
Matherson might propose at a City Council
meeting Monday that all fireworks be pro-
hibited.

"Most people will comply because they see
how dry it is," he says. Water restrictions,
including a ban on watering lawns, make
fireworks even more risky, he says.
• A 120-day ban on fireworks in Kentucky's
Daniel Boone National Forest took effect
Tuesday, says fire management officer
Mitch Gandy. The 700,000-acre forest is
popular with families with their own fire-
works. It's the first ban since 1999.
"We've had 70 fires so far this year,"
Gandy says. "Fireworks land in the leaves
and set fires, which is potentially very
dangerous."

In Madison, Ala., public fireworks were
canceled so firefighters can focus on
possible fires from illegal but rampant
private fireworks. "We're worried about
tying up the manpower because we're
afraid we'll be busy elsewhere," Fire
Chief Ralph Cobb says.

CLICK HERE FOR TENNESSEAN ARTICLE.

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