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Hot, dry days worry firefighters

Published: Mon, July 2, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.


Firefighter Scot Murray of Boardman washes a firetruck at the Boardman Fire Department. The firefighters are taking extra care to prepare for the busy holiday weekend. Firefighters say the region’s dry conditions and use of fireworks can bring disastrous results.

By ELISE FRANCO efranco@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN

HOT, DRY WEATHER HAS Mahoning Valley fire chiefs urging residents — now more than ever — to abide by state fireworks laws this Fourth of July.

Nonlicensed individuals may purchase consumer fireworks, such as firecrackers, bottle rockets and roman candles in Ohio but are prohibited from shooting them off in the state.

Andrew Frost III, Austintown assistant fire chief, said even the slight chance of scattered showers predicted this week won’t wet the ground enough because of the heat factor.

“If we don’t get some rain we’re very concerned about hot embers igniting some grass fires,” he said. “We need it to be a good soaking, long, sustained rain. A couple short blasts won’t do any good.”

Frost said consumers should be smart about the types of products they light up during the Independence Day celebrations. Sparklers or anything that’s been lighted should be doused with water to ensure the fuse is out.

Ken Nussle, Warren fire chief, said though fires generally increase around the 4th, it’s not usually anything major. The unseasonably dry weather could change that, however.

“We get a lot of gutter and mulch fires,” he said. “We expect to see more grass fires, and obviously with a drier fuel it will spread more rapidly. If there’s wind, even more so.”

While some July Fourth celebrations took place over the weekend, many events are scheduled over the next few days.

Fireworks displays begin at dusk Tuesday at Waterworth Memorial Park in Salem; 10 p.m. Tuesday at Freedom Place and Liberty Assembly of God in Liberty; 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at W.D. Packard Music Hall in Warren; immediately following the Wednesday evening Mahoning Valley Scrappers game; 10 p.m. Wednesday East Palestine City Park; and 10 p.m. Wednesday at downtown wharf over the Ohio River in East Liverpool.

Pastor Rob Morris, of Freedom Place and Liberty Assembly of God, said the church planned Tuesday’s display as a way to celebrate the holiday and bring the township together.

“We’re in Liberty Township, so what better place is there to celebrate our liberty and freedom,” he said. “This will be the first of what we plan to become an annual event.”

Pastor Morris said to ensure the safety of those in attendance the church hired professional shooters and took other precautions such as cutting the grass short.

“It would be a terrible gift if we gave the community a fire,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make it a fun, family-friendly event.”

He said his church’s fireworks show is expected to draw about 1,000 people. “I think that the atmosphere here will be celebratory and fun, and people will have a great view.”

Michael Durkin, Liberty fire chief, said his department will have extra staff stationed around the township and at the church’s display, as well as several professional events throughout the holiday week.


1isaac45(393 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

it's brutal here in austintown (weeks)...obviously the police don't care

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2becky47(34 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I have been trying to get this law enforced for years. Last year the idiots on my area started shooting off fireworks at the beginning of June...yes JUNE and we had to listen to it for over a month. I have a 12 yr old dog that is terrified of them, I can't medicate her for that long. When I moved here 12 yrs ago all that we had were a few small fireworks and sparklers, now we have people pretending they are professionals and now my neighborhood sounds like a war zone. This would be the year for the city to FINALLY take a stand and start enforcing the law. Just think if we started fining people how much money the city would take in. This year more than ever I am terrified the neighborhood will become one giant bonfire. I know the police have more urgent things to deal with but when you call and complain I don't think they need to ask "Who is setting them off?" I am not going to drive around the block to see, just open your eyes and look around you can certainly see them from the patrol car. SO LIKE GINGER I ASK WHEN WILL THIS LAW EVER BE ENFORCED

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3janeyblue(227 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

More dogs go missing on July 4 than any other day of the year. The reason is loud and clear they HATE fireworks and more than 7 million pet owners will seek tranquilizers or other help from veterinarians for their traumatized dogs.

By following these simple TOP FIVE TIPS to insure your 4th of July and your pets will love you for it.

An up-to-date tag greatly increases the chance of a lost pet being returned make sure that your pet always wears identification

Never leave pets or children in cars unattended. On a sunny day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket to 140 degrees in 30 minutes

Make the grill off limits so keep an eye on pets during parties and BBQs as scraps can make them sick and make sure to have fresh clean water easily accessible for them.

Do not bring your dog to the Fireworks displays they can be disorienting and frightening to pets.

Leave your pet at home and secure the party perimeter by keeping doors closed so there's no escape route. If possible, close all the windows, too, and cover them so your pet is insulated thus creating a home sanctuary. You can play soothing music or turn on the television to help muffle loud noises. Never leave pets outside and unattended.

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4walter_sobchak(2591 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

If your dog can't handle the bangs from fireworks, just tell them its thunder and sing them the "Thunder Buddy" song.

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5debsoccermom(4 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

C'mon it's more than just blowing stuff up. It's a way to imagine how they celebrated and continue celebrating our independence! Right? They never enforce it cuz that's what it's all about. Besides, my 3 kids-I mean my 2 boys and my husband-want to celebrate our independence! Ok, so maybe they just wanna blow stuff up :/ Trying to talk them out of it this year b/c I do believe that with this dry weather, it is dangerous. And they might just enforce it! I don't have $1000 to pay that fine!

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6Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Is that's why so many dogs are named BOMMER

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