Burleigh and Morton counties have joined the city of Mandan in banning the private use of fireworks during the July Fourth holiday season due to the widespread drought in North Dakota.
Rural fire chiefs in both counties recommended the bans because of extremely dry conditions. North Dakota has experienced some of the driest winter and spring months this year. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than two-thirds of the state is in extreme and exceptional drought.
Morton County officials said setting off fireworks could cause fires “that could threaten the health, well-being and safety of citizens, and the cost of response may be far in excess of current resources.”
If the county receives a significant amount of rain in the coming weeks, it might reassess the ban, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
Public or commercial fireworks displays that have received permits from the appropriate agencies are still allowed.
Violating the private fireworks ban is a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
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