Celebrating safely: How you can help prevent fires

Local News

LENNOX, S.D. (KELO) — We’re still a few days out from the 4th of July, but we’ve already reported on a few fires this week that authorities believe were caused by fireworks.

Crews in Rapid City say fireworks lead to a grass fire Thursday afternoon.

In Sioux Falls, crews also believe fireworks may have played a role in a fire on the southeast part of the city on Thursday.

It’s a good reminder to be careful as drought conditions blanket much of our viewing area.

Lincoln County is currently under a burn ban due to the hot, dry conditions across the area, but that ban doesn’t cover fireworks.

Even over the holidays, first responders are ready to jump into action.

“We have all our members ready to go, and if we need help we’ll call a neighboring community,” Lennox Fire Chief Mike Fodness said.

And there’s a way for you to help your local fire department, too.

“You can’t be too careful when it’s as dry as it is now,” Lincoln County Emergency Manager Harold Timmerman said.

Timmerman says if you’re celebrating with fireworks, there are some safety steps you can take.

“Maybe they can wet down the area around where they’re shooting them from or maybe have a good platform to put your fireworks on rather than right on the ground or in the grass,” Timmerman said.

If you’re shooting off aerial fireworks, Timmerman says be careful about where they might land, and take the wind into consideration.

“After you’ve shot off your fireworks, soak them in water. Don’t store them in your garbage can in the garage. Leave it out away from structures,” Fodness said.

Fodness says his crew hasn’t responded to any fireworks-related fires yet this season, and he hopes it stays that way.

“I just hope that everyone uses extreme caution because it is dry,” Fodness said.

Fodness says aerial fireworks are not allowed in Lennox.

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