The Paducah Fire and Police Departments want the public to be aware of the fire danger with the extreme heat and high temperatures the region currently is experiencing. Burning is not allowed in the city of Paducah at any time. Judge-Executive Van Newberry signed a no burn order for McCracken County on June 25, 2012. The ban will remain in effect until the county receives a significant amount of moisture.
Unfortunately, the hot and dry conditions are coinciding with the July 4th holiday, a holiday in which many people celebrate by buying and lighting fireworks. Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle says, “I am extremely concerned about the dry conditions. Even though Paducah only allows ground and handheld sparkling devices during the holiday, I highly encourage citizens to watch public fireworks displays rather than attempting to hold displays at their homes.”
Paducah allows the sale, within a specific set of requirements, of fireworks that leave the ground, explode, or have a report. However, those types of fireworks are not allowed to be discharged within the City limits. The Paducah Police Department is ramping up its enforcement of the ordinance. Assistant Police Chief Stacey Grimes says, “Public safety is always our priority, and we will enforce the City ordinance banning the use of aerial and audible fireworks in the city limits. We will confiscate fireworks from individuals violating the ordinance, and they could face fines from $50 to $1000 and jail time up to 30 days if charged.”
Deputy Fire Chief Greg Cherry says, “There are additional fire dangers that concern us right now including the use of grills and fire pits. I discourage the use of both of these traditional holiday items. Under these conditions, tiny sparks and flames can lead to fast moving fires.” Deputy Chief Cherry also encourages people to make sure cigarettes and cigars are completely extinguished before disposal.
For those who decide to use the ground and handheld fireworks in Paducah, the Consumer Product Safety Commission provides the following safety recommendations:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Young children often suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures near 2000 degrees.
Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities and have items such as water and fire extinguishers readily available.
Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
Paducah will have an Independence Day Celebration with an impressive fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4 at the riverfront. The fireworks will start at approximately 9:15 p.m. The entertainment starts at 6:30 p.m.