LANSING (CBS Detroit) – Several Michigan communities have issued bans following a recent lack of rain as part of an effort to prevent fires that might get out of control, and there’s a question about whether the state will ban them altogether.
“She continues to monitor the situation,” state fire marshal spokeswoman Jeannie Vogel told CBS Detroit at 11 a.m. Wednesday about whether State Fire Marshal Julie Secontine will ban fireworks statewide.
“It is being discussed at the state level,” she added.
Earlier, Secontine contradicted various media reports on the subject, speaking to WWJ 950’s Charlie Langton’s and saying no such ban was being recommended.
“A statewide ban on fireworks, that has never been discussed,” Secontine told Langton. “When we have bans, burn bans or fireworks bans, they’re done county by county based on the threat in that particular county, because rarely are they the same across the entire state of Michigan.”
Fire officials in dozens of Lansing-area communities on Monday and Tuesday banned open burning until conditions improve, The Lansing State Journal reported.
Some communities, including Holly, Corunna and Montrose Township, have also prohibited the use of fireworks because of extremely dry conditions heading into the Fourth of July weekend.
Royal Oak’s assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook told CBS Detroit his city will follow whatever the state fire marshal ends up recommending. “It’s pretty dry, I would totally support (the ban) if they did,” Cook said.
“In some areas, especially where you’ve got open fields and open grass … You look at some of those more rural communities and it can spread quick and get away from them. Wherever you are, I do advise anyone to use extreme caution because it is dry … Let common sense prevail.”
If you decide to light off fireworks, DNR fire prevention specialist Bryce Avery said you should avoid wind and have a sense of where the debris might be landing.
“Dry grass is very susceptible to fire,” he said. “And mulch is something that the firework can lay in and just smolder there over time. It might lay there and you have a windy day come along a day or two later and that could even start a fire.”
State law allows for the use of fireworks on the day before, day of, and day after 10 federally recognized holidays — including Independence Day.
In Warren, where fireworks are prolific, Mayor Jim Fouts said he doesn’t support a ban.
*The AP contributed to this report.
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