As you make Independence Day plans, prepare for fun and safety, too. Care with campfires and fireworks is critical, as Michigan continues its run of unusually dry weather that puts fields and forests at risk for wildfire.
If you choose to use fireworks over the July Fourth holiday, the following tips can help avoid injuries or sparking a wildfire.
- Supervise kids with fireworks and sparklers. Keep fireworks away from your face.
- Use fireworks only on a flat paved or gravel surface. Spray down the area with water before you start and when you’re done.
- Toss used fireworks and sparklers into a bucket of water.
- Keep a water source ready to spray embers from fireworks.
- Try to reignite “dud” fireworks that don’t go off. Wait 15 minutes, then place them in a bucket of water.
- Launch fireworks into forests or fields where dry grass or leaves could ignite.
Aerial fireworks such as Roman candles and bottle rockets are not allowed at Michigan state parks, harbors or trails. Smaller novelty fireworks such as fountains, sparklers and ground spinners are permitted in campgrounds.
“Fun, spark-free alternatives to fireworks include ribbon dancers, paper confetti poppers, glow-in-the-dark bubbles and glow sticks,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson.
Sky lanterns are not allowed on DNR-managed public lands. They leave wires that can entangle wildlife and foul equipment, and they have the potential to start wildfires.
So far this season, DNR firefighters have responded to more than 230 wildfires. Get wildfire prevention tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfiresand check to see if it’s safe to burn brush and leaves at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.
Questions? Contact Paul Rogers at 616-260-8406.