It’s America’s 243rd birthday and Hettingerites are rearing to celebrate with high-powered explosives. Although there’s nothing like blowing things up to celebrate the independence of this great country, it’s important to stay safe.
“We just have to be really safe about shooting off fireworks,” said Adams County Fire Chief Terry Lien. “Right now, we are in a low fire index, but that could change.”
According to the National Weather Service, Adams County is going to have temperatures that approach the 80’s and 90’s. According to Lien, the high temperatures and winds could make a difference.
“It could only take a day or two to get into the high or extreme fire danger, especially with the wind we have been having,” said Lien. “It’s going to get hot here in the next 5 to 7 days, so hopefully we are going to stay green enough to not have to put a fire ban or fireworks ban on, but if it happens, it happens. We will announce that if we do decide to do that.”
To light fireworks safely, Lien suggested lighting off fireworks in non-grassy areas like driveways or in the street. Any place where there are non-flammables.
It is also important to light off fireworks legally over the 4th of July.
According to Deputy Sheriff Andy Roehl, the legal timeframe for fireworks starts on June 27th and ends July 5th.
According to Roehl, most fireworks are allowed in city limits.
Deputy Roehl explained, “Whatever you see in the retail markets of local firework vendors is okay. As long as you don’t modify the firework or place gasoline all over it, you should be fine.”
Another factor to consider over the fourth is that the noise ordinance in town for the 4th is still in effect. According to Roehl, after 10 p.m. is considered “quiet time.”
“That’s still in effect during this holiday, so people are asked to respect those who choose to celebrate this country’s independence quietly and to stop shooting of fireworks after that certain hour so people can sleep,” he continued.
Roehl said that, historically, people in Hettinger have respected local burn bans in the past and that generally people in town have good “firework etiquette.”
“I feel like the community is well versed in the rules and etiquette of fireworks,” said Roehl. “We mostly get the after hours calls of people trying to sleep, but overall people around here are very respectful.”
At the end of the day, while celebrating the 4th of July is an exciting time, it’s always important to keep safely in mind.
Lien explained it best by saying, “A lot of common sense goes a long ways.”