November 27, 2014

DNR issues fireworks reminder

If your Fourth of July holiday plans involve a visit to a state park, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding you to leave the fireworks at home.

It’s illegal to possess or discharge fireworks in state parks, which covers anything that explodes or shoots into the air. While smoke bombs, snakes, and sparklers are allowed, DNR Chief Ranger Jason Fritz says they prefer those be kept out of the parks as well.

With little rain across much of the state in recent weeks, Fritz says most state parks are very dry right now and there’s an increased risk of fires. Sparks or small flames from even legal fireworks could easily start a fire that grows out of control quickly in the dry grass or underbrush.

Fritz says it’s an issue they deal with every year as people camp over the Fourth of July holiday. While wardens focus primarily on educating visitors about the safety issues, he says they can confiscate any illegal devices and issue citations.

Despite the dry weather, no state parks have burning restrictions in place right now. However, Fritz says they are still urging visitors to use caution with campfires and grills and to operate them only inside fire rings.

Anyone responsible for causing a forest fire in Wisconsin is liable for the cost of putting it out, along with covering any damages it may have caused.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:07)