The intense heat continues to be a factor as Kentuckians prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July. The extremely dry conditions could test a relatively new state law on fireworks. The state legislature opened the door to flying fireworks last year. The list of approved fireworks grew. Last summer found relatively cool and damp conditions in many communities. This week’s possibility of a tinderbox may cause some communities to postpone or cancel shows. It’s already happened in a few central Kentucky towns. State Fire Marshall Bill Swope says some local governments have made modifications.
“Some have instituted noise ordinances…others have banned particular types of fireworks…so it’s a little bit of everything that we are seeing,” said Swope.
Swope says the state law approved more than a year ago gave local communities flexibility in regulating fireworks. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council member Kevin Stinnett admits some regs will be very difficult to enforce.
“Cannot be within 200 feet of any other person, vehicle, or structure…and obviously that’s very difficult in a residential neighborhood..to find 200 feet of distance…that’s where the isue…and that’s part of the state law…that’s not a local ordinance..but that’s part of the state law and our local ordinance,” said Stinnett.
Lexington’s local law permits setting off fireworks until midnight on the third and fourth of July. The law prohibits their use after ten o clock the days leading up to the fourth and after the holiday.
“Everyone is gonna be able to celebrate the fourth..within reason…but those people who go beyond midnight..and those people who have excessive issues…our police will respond,” said Stinnett.
Stinnett says fireworks retailers are not allowed to sell their products to anyone under age 18 and they must have the appropriate sellers’ permit. Lexington fire officials are scheduled to meet this morning to consider any last minute modifications to the use of fireworks. Any changes will likely be announced this afternoon.