Gulf drought leads to potential 'burn ban' on fireworks

Biloxi Sun HeraldJune 14, 2011 

Fireworks stands will begin opening Wednesday. But with burn bans in force across the Coast, some people are calling for a ban on fireworks.

The state allows fireworks sales from June 15 to July 5. Mississippi Fire Marshall Ricky Davis said it’s left to the local municipalities to regulate the use of fireworks. “They can ban fireworks,” he said.

But Jackson County Supervisor John McKay said he spoke with the board’s attorney Monday and that isn’t exactly correct. “There’s a state law that we cannot ban the sale of fireworks because it’s a private business,” he said. “Our problem then is can we prohibit people from firing them once they buy them?”

The burn ban was extended to June 20 in Jackson County. Saturday’s fire that burned more that 500 acres showed how quickly a fire can spread in the extreme drought conditions, said county fire coordinator Ray Watson.

Supervisor Melton Harris said when the board meets next Monday the supervisors will decide if the burn ban needs to continue and possibly if the use of fireworks should be prohibited.

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