Local police departments are stepping up enforcement of fireworks being illegally discharged inside their jurisdictions, a move that is being made due to the hot and dry conditions.
It is illegal to discharge fireworks in Warrenton, Wright City and Truesdale. Normally fireworks can be legally shot off in Truesdale, but city officials have issued a temporary ban until further notice.
“In the past, we considered it more of an annoyance and dealt with it accordingly,” Warrenton Police Chief Greg Houdyshell said. “This year, with the conditions, it is absolutely a safety hazard. We will have zero tolerance.”
A small grass fire was reported at a residence on Northridge Place inside the city limits of Wright City Monday morning, according to Sgt. Matt Eskew. He said the fire was extinguished by the time fire crews arrived on the scene.
Individuals caught discharging fireworks, Eskew said, will be issued a summons and the fireworks will be seized.
Fireworks can be legally discharged in unincorporated areas of the county and in Marthasville, though fire officials are discouraging their use due to the dry conditions. An outright county ban on fireworks had been considered, but enforcement would have been difficult, Warrenton Fire Chief Mike Owenby said. Anyone using fireworks, he emphasized, should use caution.
Local fire chiefs are encouraging residents to attend public fireworks displays scheduled to be held Wednesday, July 4, at the Warren County Fair and Saturday, July 7, at Innsbrook.