Archive for Sunday, July 1, 2012

County bans fireworks on public land

July 1, 2012


In a special meeting Sunday morning, Douglas County Commission passed a resolution prohibiting the use of fireworks on any land but private property and set up a plan to distribute educational fliers to fireworks vendors. The commission also approved overtime use for the sheriff's office in an effort to boost enforcement.

The resolution isn't a burn ban but it does make it illegal to shoot fireworks at Wells Overlook Park and Lone Star Lake, the two county-owned public spaces. It also affects public spaces in Lecompton, which doesn't have its own law enforcement. The county does not have jurisdiction over Lawrence, where fireworks are prohibited anyway. Nor does it affect Eudora or Baldwin City, where they are permitted.

Today, county officials will draw up and distribute a flier on the dangerous dry conditions that will be sent to fireworks vendors and also posted at Overlook and Lone Star as well as, if township officials want, at dead-end roads that have been known fireworks locations in the past.

It's already illegal to shoot off fireworks on any county-owned public right-of-way, including township and county roads, but the commissioners acknowledged it happens frequently.

In approving overtime use, the commissioners also asserted the sheriff's deputies' right to confiscate fireworks from people whom they believe may use them illegally. Under the new resolution, fireworks can only be used on private property, and only with the express permission of the property owner.

The resolution, passed unanimously, only affects this year. The commissioners still may impose a burn ban between now and the Fourth of July if conditions worsen. If they did, fireworks would be banned on even private property.

The fire risk as of Sunday morning is moderate.

Fireworks are also already prohibited on federal lands, which would include levees and Clinton Lake.


Carol Braden 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not an expert on this. But, if there is an increased threat of wildfire due to the hot and dry weather conditions, this kind of ban is worthless to us. We live at the edge of Lawrence right next to county homes. Thankfully, our neighbors in the county are fairly responsible and considerate.

hyperinflate 5 years, 10 months ago

Fireworks aren't prohibited in Baldwin City. From July 1 to July 4 between certain hours they can be discharged:

7-302. Same: exceptions; discharges.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to discharge, ignite, explode, or use any fireworks in the city except from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on July 1st and 2nd in any year and from 8:00 a.m. to Midnight on July 3rd and 4th in any year, in accordance with section 7-301(a) of this code.

alex_garrison 5 years, 10 months ago

There was some confusion about that but I just checked the city code and you're right (except for bottle rockets). I'll update; thanks.


alex_garrison 5 years, 10 months ago

Technically, yes, though a public display requires a permit. It's up to the Baldwin City folks to decide if they want a similar ban or a burn ban. I can check in the morning if any plans for a meeting on their end are in place.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

A burn ban ought to be in effect. Hot temps with wind have been effectively drying out the city and county. What will it take? Raging prairie fires that cannot be extinguished.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 10 months ago

You are one miserable person, I truly feel sorry for you.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes, it's probably safer to light off fireworks on a wide county road than a narrow driveway closer to your house.

I'd be surprised if a full burn ban doesn't go into effect before the fourth.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, but you're wrong. I've seen a prairie fire jump a highway---couldn't even see the flame go across, but suddenly it's burning on the other side. Very scary and not easily stopped when there's no fire hydrants around and the fire is being fought by people with gunny sacks and buckets of water. Really scary when your father and other relatives are the ones fighting.

At least if it's near a house, one would have access to running water.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, with the size of fire you're talking about, a garden hose isn't going to be a lot of help. I'm not talking about stopping a fire, but preventing one in the first place. You would have to still be prepared with water and/or a fire extinguisher.

I suppose it's a matter of size. I think the road would help prevent a fire, but you'd have to be ready to handle any small fires. A medium sized fire could be handled with a garden hose. Anything bigger and I don't want it that close to my house.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

I meant that you could put out a fire before it becomes a big fire if you're near a water source and have a hose, and it doesn't take much of a fire to jump even a wide road. They get real big real fast and those people complaining about their rights being trampled on (not addressing this to you, Dillon) have no respect for the rights of others to not have their property, or even themselves burned.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

New comment system confuses me sometimes, I didn't notice you had replied.

I can't argue with that. I think we can both agree that a little awareness and common sense can go a long way to prevent fires.

bschulteis 5 years, 10 months ago

Very sneaky. Firework ban voted on at a meeting on Sunday morning with less than 24 hour notice to the general public. The cost for enforcement will exceed the cost of any clean up at a park. I would understand if a burn ban was issued based on unsafe conditions, but no burn ban has been issued.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Should they have waited until July 5th to make this ruling?

bschulteis 5 years, 10 months ago

They discussed this last week and decided not to change anything unless there was a burn ban.

coolasice 5 years, 10 months ago

What's also great is that we have similar temperatures that Shawnee County has, which is right next door. There's no ban and so, they didn't wimp out like Douglas. I'm glad those who complain run this county, makes me think of who should be in office. Just so people clearly realize this in how the blame is placed: It's not the weather, it's the fact that we believe all should be punished because we believe everyone is an irresponsible idiot. Sad, huh. If Topeka or all of Shawnee County goes through any firework related fires, then I guess they were wrong. But it they do not, then everyone in Douglas County should realize their freedom is being taken away by those in office blaming them all for being idiots not for the weather. Remember, we are right next door to Shawnee County.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 10 months ago

You really don't have a clue as to how dry and dangerous it is out there, do you? Shawnee County got more of the last rain than we did, so maybe it's not quite as tinder-dry as around here. If they don't follow with a ban around Topeka and it's as dry as it is around here, expect some fires over there.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, emotions run high. I'm not sure I trust some of you with fireworks anyway!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Fireworks are so gorgeous with a whoosh, bang, boom!! It is wrong to restrict fireworks to the professionals because then the city picks the company and the company gets a fee for doing this. Are there bids for who does what on the 4th at the park?

Caleb Schletzbaum 5 years, 10 months ago

well it's not much but there's a 20% chance of rain today and tonight now according to the NWS so hopefully we will get a couple inches of rain and maybe the ban will be lifted

Kontum1972 5 years, 10 months ago

what about napalm......?

so 4th of july would be similar to Quantrills raid....hmmmmm.....well i dont buy fireworks anymore....$$$ up in smoke....

have a safe holiday....this might be our last one......according to the Mayan calendar ....that hurricane was the introduction ....get ready..! Our Father.....

Bob Harvey 5 years, 10 months ago

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

akt2 5 years, 10 months ago

You can't reason with a pyromaniac this time of the year.

RoeDapple 5 years, 10 months ago

RoeDy's House of Paranoia and Pyromania sez . . . burnz 'em if ya gots 'em . . .

rukidingme 5 years, 10 months ago

Support your firework stands and buy your fireworks and drive to Perry Lake state park. They allow fireworks in the park at the south boat ramp from July 2nd to July 4th.

Matthew Del Vecchio 5 years, 10 months ago

Christmas isn't about presents and Independence Day isn't about fireworks.

bschulteis 5 years, 10 months ago

In President John Adam's biography he stated we would be shooting fireworks in celebration of our independence for generations to come.

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

less than a week ago they say not gonna ban fireworks unless there is a burn ban and in a secret sunday meeting decide to ban them with out the fire burn. So how about we do fire works at the county commishs" houses I am sure they pay well to have nice green wet ground.

rukidingme 5 years, 10 months ago

BAN Douglas County go to Jefferson County Perry Lake State Park is only lake that allows fireworks in park. The sign says you have to shoot them off at the boat ramp. they are allowed July 2nd thru July 4th.

kwilkins74 5 years, 10 months ago

Gotta love Lawrence! Glad I don't live there anymore!

greenworld 5 years, 10 months ago

Why dont people just not even celebrate the 4th of July. Its becomes meaningless to even celebrate if u have somebody that wants to control it and have you go home and tuck yourself into bed by 800pm. This all is a ploy to get people to go downtown to watch the big firework show and spend money buying food and stuff at their little liberal celebration in the park. Makes me want to throw up!!!! Stupid Libs!!!!

Laura Wilson 5 years, 10 months ago

For all those blaming liberals, stop making assumptions. I'm a liberal and proud of it and I have always been unhappy with the city's ban. I grew up here and have wonderful memories of 4th of July celebrations at home with family and friends, good food and fireworks. I remember the fun of going out to Pines and buying the giant sparkler to dance around as a kid.

Luckily about the time the ban went into effect, my parents moved to the country so we do our fireworks there. Just got home from an early 4th with my brother and his family and it was a fun evening of fireworks, and yet we're all liberals.

John Duval 5 years, 10 months ago

leave well enogh alone and take all that wasted man power thats out looking for criminals popping a firework and put the man power and time and find the real criminals that stole my two trailers and tiller .Hunnnn sounds so simple yet common sense does not work in douglas county

John Duval 5 years, 10 months ago

just imagine going to war to protect our freedom possibly getting shot or loosing a limb just to come back and find out another freedom has been taken away . BOO AND HISS TO ALL THE PERFECT LITTLE PEOPLE THAT THINK THIS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A CRIME

asixbury 5 years, 10 months ago

It's about how dangerously dry it is, not about a crime of some sort. Get a clue. Look to our neighboring state to the west if you want to know how dryness and fire mix.

gatekeeper 5 years, 10 months ago

Or you could be like my nephew, who did tours in Iraq and Afhanistan and suffers from PTSD after having his vehicle hit by an IED and will be staying far away from fireworks because that sound takes him back to the day he was almost blown away and watched his buddies die. He's thankful he's in OP where fireworks are banned.

They weren't over there fighting for your right to blow up fireworks, during a very dry spell that could cause fire that could damage others property.

kernal 5 years, 10 months ago

Still affects some Nam and Gulf vets as well.

rukidingme 5 years, 10 months ago

Take hwy 24 West to K-237, turn right on K-237 go 3 miles State park on right side.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

There's always next year. It's not like the ban is forever---unless we're in for a long-term drought and then fireworks will be the least of our worries.

Did any of you read the article about the fire of '82? All it takes is one spark and poof! That last ember that nobody sees until it's too late. No matter how responsible you are, it can still happen in these kinds of conditions.

jj14 5 years, 10 months ago

I cannot believe they have not put a burn ban in effect yet. What are they waiting for??? Trying not to ruin 4th of July for a city that already bans fireworks?

Olive 5 years, 10 months ago

Fireworks are a safety issue. If the weather is hot and dry there is a high chance of unintentional fires. Why would you want to have fireworks that could cause a fire? It is not worth it. Go watch a display put on by professionals and enjoy the show. The fourth of July is a day of celebration; you can do that without fireworks if it saves property, wildlife, and or lives of citizens.

Nate012 5 years, 10 months ago

If you want to go the route of fireworks can cause fires and kill poeple and animals. And fireworks are once a year type of thing, why do you not say the same thing about cars except 365 times that of fireworks.

gatekeeper 5 years, 10 months ago

Cars are a necessity. Fireworks are not.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 10 months ago

As I get older I have become less tolerant of fireworks shot in front of the house in the street by the neighbor kids and relatives who come to town to shoot them off because they can. Maybe its because I still look for shooters when they go off and wonder how they got pass the lead battalion. Go watch a display.

Judgement_Angel 5 years, 10 months ago

It is still legal in Eudora and Baldwin to shoot fireworks off. It is sad that this city many years ago decided to blame a fire at some apartments on illegal fireworks (Bottlerockets) and when in reality it was caused by a bbq grill being knocked over and charcoal catching the fire. I knew some people who lived there at the time. But the city was just finding out ways to blame fireworks so they could make it illegal in the city. Oh well. I am still going to shoot fireworks off this year and neither the city nor mother nature will stop me! And to ALL you haters of fireworks out there let people enjoy the reason why we have this holiday! Just because you don't like something doesn't means that everyone else who does like it has to be punished for it! Why? Because it's call FREEDOM!!! Please look up the definition if you have questions about it. And @oldbaldguy just relax. It's only for a couple of days of the year!

Nate012 5 years, 10 months ago

Since Douglas County is so afraid of the threat that there is the possibility of a fire caused by fireworks. Thus they have made it so people are not allowed to shoot fireworks off in the public county areas pre designated to fireworks since they banned them in the city. However given the time it would be wise to consider allowing fireworks to be shot off in the city. In the city of Lawrence just because we have not got rain does not mean it is dry. We have access to water to maintain yards and plants. Many people have been watering their grass alot to keep it nice and greeen which means it would be very hard for it to burn. So yes it is more dry out in the county but in the city with being able to water plants trees and grasss the amount of dryness if you would like to call it stays a pretty steady constant during the summer. So shooting fireworks in the city may be the safest alternative and since this is what they are so concerned about it, then this should be a very valid point.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 10 months ago

Actually they shoot them all week in Baldwin. I don't fall to the ground anymore when fireworks go off now. I guess that is an improvement. A big display is the way to go. Think how many idiots and kids every year blow their fingers off or worse.

gatekeeper 5 years, 10 months ago

I think your tin foil hat is on a little too tight, dude.

Get a clue, many, many liberals have fought and died for this country. Every time you bash liberals, you're bashing soldiers, teachers, nurses, police, etc.. that work to help protect and serve liberals and conservatives alike. From your posts, it appears you don't really love this country that much. This country is about people from all beliefs, all religions, all ways of life living together to create a better nation. You only like people that have your view point and that's just really sad and un-American.

Again, loosen the foil hat just a little. It's cutting off circulation to what brains you may have left.

gatekeeper 5 years, 10 months ago

All you're doing is showing that you are a really sad, sad person. I actually feel sorry for people like you. You must have a really miserable life.

kernal 5 years, 10 months ago

Nearby counties that have instituted a ban as of today are Franklin, Wyandotte, Anderson, Atchison and part of Miami.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 10 months ago

Common sence says hot, dry, fire.... Probably not a good idea to be shooting off fireworks anywhere around the midwest... I'm shocked people are so selfish as to be more concerned about fireworks then others property and homes... This isn't a political issue, its a safety issue...

kawman_sense 5 years, 10 months ago

No. Kawman_sense says all the watering systems on the west side of town have most of the lawns looking lush and green! Rather than shooting the fireworks up into the air and risking the shake shingle roof igniting, I say we lay them flat on the street, us at one end, and other at the other and have a good old fashioned fireworks war!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.