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With the sale of fireworks up and running, the Joplin Fire Chief will enforce several new measures for their distribution and use. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes Reports.
Reporter standup: “Right now, I’m at the corner of Sunshine and West Bypass standing at one of the many fireworks stands that have been popping up around the city. The 4thof July weekend is just around the corner and it would make sense that people would want to celebrate. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, more fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year and fireworks account for more than half of those fires. And here in Missouri, fire officials are advising people to enjoy public firework displays instead of setting them off themselves, especially in Joplin.”
“We have large, large amounts of debris piles,” says Dale Brooks, Joplin’s fire marshal.
“It’s very diversified and quite a mix of roofing material exposed; tar paper, paper, house-hold materials. I mean we just have this tremendous volumes of open debris that would be very susceptible to any kind of spark,” he said.
According to a release from the city of Joplin, the fire chief has banned any and all fireworks in some of the areas in Joplin where there is still debris from the May 22ndtornado.
In addition to the ban in certain areas, fireworks can only be sold in Joplin between July 1stthru the 4th,instead of the normal dates for Missouri, which is June 20ththru July 10th.
The release also stresses safety when handling fireworks: it says you should only set off fireworks in an area clear of any obstructions, and in a place with short grass or a noncombustible surface. Also, if the firework is a dud, don’t pick it up because it’s still possible for it to go off after several minutes.
For KSMU News, I’m Matthew Barnes.