ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – So many area fireworks displays are cancelled that at least one area fire chief has concerns that this could actually create more problems. High Ridge Fire District chief Mike Arnhart believes the cancellations could lead to more amateur displays in backyards.
“The ground is so dry right now it’s a tinder box,” said Arnhart. He said 3 recent structure fires were started by someone simply tossing a cigarette away.
“I’ve never seen a 4th of July this dry in my 35 years,” said Arnhart.
He hopes anyone determined to shoot off fireworks will take appropriate precautions, including having a water supply handy and knowing exactly what certain fireworks will do.
He’s also encouraging anyone set on lighting fireworks to know their surroundings.
“We will inspect the area, we even give them recommendations and suggestions on how to use the fireworks,” said Arnhart.
He was pleased to hear that one community was adding an organized fireworks display in hopes of reducing the number of backyard fireworks.
St. Louis City alderman Antonio French is brining a fireworks display to O`Fallon Park in his 21st ward in north St. Louis.
French said a window of opportunity opened up when so many other municipalities cancelled.
‘It`s a safe environment with professionals,’ said French. “We’ll have cooling stations and snow cones.”
O’Fallon Park also has a lake which means there`s plenty of water.
“This is one of the most beautiful parks in the city and we hope this can become a tradition,” said French.
Arnhart has concerns about the water supply in his community. He says water levels are low because demand is high.
He says his department is prepared for the worst but hopes everyone will take extra precautions this 4th of July.