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Fire officials warn of the dangers of controlled burns and fireworks during dry time

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Courtesy MGN Online

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Fire officials are warning people of the dangers of controlled burns and fireworks during dry periods.

According to Assistant Chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, Gale Blomenkamp, it's safer to avoid controlled burns during these dry times.

"This time of year right now we're in, what we would call a drought," Blomenkamp "Things are very dry...we had a very busy March with heavy cover fires, then we obviously got a lot of rain...now things are drying out so people need to be extra cautious at this time of year."

Blomenkamp says people should avoid controlled burns right now unless absolutely necessary.

"Make sure that if you are going to start a fire and do some controlled burns, make sure the winds are typically low, less than five miles per hour," Blomenkamp said. "Higher humidity is in the morning and evenings than during the heat of the day so if you're going to burn do it early or late."

According to Blomenkamp, winds are typically the calmest in the mornings and evenings. He said if people do find themselves in a controlled burn situation where they do need help, they shouldn't be afraid to call for help.

According to the Department of Public Safety, July 4 is the busiest day of the year for fireworks and fires.

Firework sales at season retailers start this Sunday and are allowed until July 10 by the state of Missouri. As of June 15, the Show-Me State has issued 1,024 permits for retailers.

“Missourians will have more choices for public fireworks displays this year, and we encourage folks to take advantage of shows put on by professionals at organized events,” State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. “For those that choose to use consumer fireworks, we urge everyone to take the proper precautions and review safety tips.

Bean said fireworks should be kept away from children and only be used in jurisdictions where they are legal.

Sparklers, a common type of firework used by children, can reach up to 2,000 degrees according to the Missouri Department of public safety.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 250 people go to the emergency room everyday with firework related injuries in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.

The Boone County Fire Protection District said people using fireworks should always have a water source with them.

"When you dispose of those fireworks, put them in a meal bucket full of water," Blomenkamp said. "Do not put them in a plastic trash bag or plastic trash cans and keep them away from your home."

The National Fire Protection Association estimates in 2018, fireworks caused fires that caused $105 million dollars worth of property damage.

Boone / Columbia / Drought / Fire / Holidays / Local News / Missouri / News / Outside Fire / Top Stories / Video
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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.

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