U.S. Forest Service officials warn of fireworks danger

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As people find their way outdoors, many set off fireworks or set campfires. But there’s a right way to go about it.

The U.S. Forest Service says possessing, using or discharging fireworks in the Black Hills National Forest is illegal.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Forest Service says there’s an increase in people engaging in outdoor activity, including the lighting of the fireworks.

They say that the cost of having fun isn’t worth the risk.

“They can be held liable for the cost of the fire itself, fighting the fire, so people that are caught possessing, using fireworks can be fined and those fines are pretty steep,” said Black Hills National Forest Public Affairs Officer, Scott Jacobson.

On the flip side, anyone who sets a campfire that’s not in a designated campground can also be fined. This is to protect communities from potential wildfires.

While Forest Service officials say while having fun is important, it’s critical to stay safe and follow the rules.

“We just want everybody to be safe, we want people to, you know, make sure that they’re not causing any resource damage or issues that we have to deal with as firefighters,” said Black Hills Mystic District Assistant Fire Management Officer, Tom Roerick. “You know, it makes our jobs a lot harder when people aren’t following the rules or following the laws and we have to come take care of those things when they become a problem.”

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