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Bloomington fireworks show to continue as scheduled despite drought


By Mark Keierleber



With current drought conditions and the Monroe County Disaster Emergency Proclamation “Burn Ban” in effect since June 15, the City of Bloomington Fire Department and Fire Prevention Bureau are urging residents to be cautious during July 4 fireworks celebrations.

“We strongly encourage our residents to attend public displays of fireworks and limit their personal use of fireworks to those that do not leave the ground, and that they refrain from using aerial firework devices,” read a proclamation issued by the Monroe County Commissioners.

Despite potential fire dangers, the annual Bloomington Community Fireworks Display, beginning at dusk July 4 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, will continue as scheduled.

For the first time, this year’s fireworks display in Bloomington will be sponsored by PyroSmith Pyrotechnics, LLC.    

Gates 3, 4 and 5 will open at 5 p.m. with an entrance fee of $8 per car or $2 walk-in.
After the west parking lot is full, Gate 2 will open for overflow parking with a designated viewing area.

Residents will also be permitted to ignite consumer fireworks.

Across the state, however, municipalities have canceled public fireworks displays and have attempted to pass ordinances banning the use of consumer fireworks within city limits as the state faces one of the driest summers on record.

On Saturday, one day after the Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association announced it would not sue communities for banning personal fireworks, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard issued an executive order halting local displays, according to the Associated Press.

The ban does not apply to professional fireworks displays.

According to a 2006 law passed by the Indiana Legislature, with a push from the Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association, local governments are forbidden from issuing ordinances banning fireworks from June 29 to July 9.

According to the American Pyrotechnic Association, personal use of fireworks has never been more popular or in demand.

Since 1980, the amount of fireworks consumed in the United States has increased more than 500 percent.

With this increase, according to the Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association, there are eight times fewer fires per 100,000 pounds of fireworks consumed since 1980.

In Indiana, there are no reported cases of any wildfire or other fire accidentally starting as a result of the responsible use of consumer fireworks, the Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association announced.

“Fireworks are not designed to bring any fire to the ground after they are discharged,”
Indiana Fireworks Dealers Association President Richard Shields said in a press release.

“Fireworks are being singled out for restrictions when there are many, many other items that pose a more significant risk of fire.”

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