Beloit fire chief announces consumer fireworks ban
BELOIT The city is banning use of consumer fireworks because of extremely dry conditions, Fire Chief Bradley Liggett announced Tuesday.
Other fire chiefs around Rock County are considering a similar ban. The Rock County Fire Officers Association late last week issued a countywide ban on open and controlled burning until the county sees "significant" rainfall.
Liggett on Tuesday announced a ban on all open burning and private use of consumer fireworks effective immediately.
The Beloit ban includes sparklers and novelty fireworks but does not prohibit residents from using grills to cook food, according to a news release.
Liggett said the ban is temporary and is "an unfortunate inconvenience to Fourth of July revelers."
Burning lawn waste, trash and open-air campfires also are illegal in Beloit.
Edgerton Fire Chief Brian Demrow, president of the Rock County Fire Officers Association, is looking into the possibility of banning fireworks. The group is gathering input and should have a decision later this week, he said.
Janesville Fire Chief Jim Jensen said in a message to The Gazette that the city is not planning a complete ban of consumer fireworks. However, law enforcement officials were planning a stepped-up enforcement of illegal fireworks, he said.
Liggett encouraged Beloit residents to attend community fireworks shows.
The Beloit Fire Department is making special preparations at the Beloit show site to minimize the effects of the fireworks show fall out. This includes a planned burn of the host field before the show takes place.
"This is a mitigation strategy to prevent a large fire occurring when the area is heavily populated with fireworks show patrons," he said in the news release.
"If we control burn the field ahead of time, we can prevent the effects of a large, rapidly moving fire."
The department plans to clear the field of vegetation this weekend and will conduct a controlled prairie burn.