Firework safety continues after the holiday
RAPID CITY, S.D. — While people around the Black Hills enjoyed setting off their fireworks to celebrate the fourth, it made for a busy weekend for the fire departments.
Between Box Elder and Rapid City, more than 40 calls came in just on Sunday alone. Rapid City with nearly 25 calls for small fires, and around 20 in Box Elder – and that is not factoring the days surrounding the holiday. Fireworks are permitted between June 27 and July 11, but with the extreme dry conditions, being safe and responsible is key. To start, know where you can set off fireworks.
“Fireworks are illegal inside the city of Rapid City besides novelty type, which are like snakes and sparklers,” said Rapid City Fire Department Battalion Chief, Andy Lipp. “So obviously we encourage people not to use the fireworks that are prohibited by the law, but we understand the different communities have different laws regarding fireworks.”
The majority of calls made to the Rapid City Fire Department were for illegal fireworks set off within city limits. They are also prohibited in the Black Hills Fire Protection District, Hill City, Keystone, and the Wall city limits. While taking location into consideration, remember to be a good neighbor.
“Not everyone enjoys fireworks,” said Pennington County Fire Administrator, Jerome Harvey. “Whether it’s people, whether it’s animals, whether it’s our veterans suffering from some type of stress disorder, or whatever the issues are. Not everybody enjoys a big fireworks display. And be kind and think about those types of things. Not only do we have a potential for fire, we’re in a drought condition, we’re in a drought and dry cycle. And it’s not always prudent to just be shooting fireworks off continuously without knowing what’s going on and where you’re out.”
After ensuring you’re legally and safely lighting fireworks, don’t leave a mess.
“If you’re gonna cause the boom, be kind to your neighbor and clean up after yourself,” said Harvey.
That includes picking up general trash to keep the city clean, but also ensuring all firework residue is properly disposed of to avoid accidental re-lighting