Fireworks ban amended, still illegal inside city
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
An amendment to an "emergency drought" declaration in North Alabama will allow Fourth of July celebrants to shoot some types of fireworks in areas where they are normally allowed.
The amendment, which was issued by State Forester Linda Casey June 20 with the approval of Gov. Bob Riley, allows ground level fireworks such as basic firecrackers, sparklers and poppers to be used. Bottle rockets and other aerial devices with fins or rudders remain under restriction unless they are discharged over water or in a display that has been approved by the State Forestry Commission and State Fire Marshal.
She said three of the state's largest fireworks distributors indicated they would immediately remove all rocket-type fireworks from their shelves.
Even though fireworks are sold by outlets located in unincorporated areas on the north and east fringes of Hartselle, the discharge of fireworks is unlawful in the city.
"Based on past experience, most of our citizens are aware that it's unlawful to shoot fireworks in town and they obey the law," said Hartselle Police Chief Investigator Capt. Tom Sparks. "However, in cases where the law is violated and we get complaints, we'll respond and take appropriate action."
The change was prompted by rain showers that fell in the state June19; however, the rain was not sufficient to remove the "no burn" and "emergency drought" orders.
State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk recommended those who plan to make fireworks a part of the holiday celebration to keep a water hose or fire extinguisher close in the event of an emergency.