The night had slowly turned from dusk to full dark, and suddenly the air was filled with the unmistakable sights and sounds of a festive fireworks display. Firecrackers popped, multi-colored rockets …
The night had slowly turned from dusk to full dark, and suddenly the air was filled with the unmistakable sights and sounds of a festive fireworks display. Firecrackers popped, multi-colored rockets streaked through the night sky and artillery shells thundered with a distinctive boom. It was truly a sight to see.
The problem? It was 10:30 p.m. on a Monday, in an alley near Seventh Street and Clark.
Now, before we get accused of yelling at kids to get off our lawn, we realize it is a holiday week. It can be expected that folks are anxious to get a jump on their Fourth of July festivities with a little pre-Fourth warm-up.
But what some residents may not know is that setting off fireworks inside the Powell city limits is not only disrespectful, it’s illegal, and can result in a fine if the police department gets involved. The same goes for our friends to the west in Cody.
“No fireworks of any kind are allowed to be used within the city limits,” said Lt. Alan Kent of the Powell Police Department. “Fireworks are completely prohibited within the city limits. It doesn’t matter if it’s the little black snakes or sparklers all the way up to rockets. Everything inside the city limits is prohibited.”
The same holds true for state and federal land: The U.S. Forest Service, BLM and the National Park Service all prohibit the use of fireworks on its lands.
That said, fireworks are legal on privately-owned land outside the city limits with the landowner’s permission. Law enforcement officials want everyone to have fun, but to also use common sense when it comes to their fireworks.
An estimated 12,900 people nationally suffered fireworks-related injuries in 2017, according to the National Fire Protection Association. More than a third of those injuries were to children under the age of 15.
When it comes to your fireworks, read the labels before igniting them and never light more than one at a time. Always make sure children are supervised, and keep a bucket of water or a garden hose on hand in case things take a turn for the dangerous. Never relight a “dud” firework and, unless otherwise specified on the caution label, never hold a firework in your hand to light it.
It’s going to be a long holiday weekend, and we want everyone to enjoy the fun and excitement that comes with celebrating our nation’s independence. If you’re going to use fireworks, be safe and remember: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Enjoy the holiday weekend!