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Fireworks in Williston now prohibited

(WECT)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 3:12 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. - This afternoon, the City of Williston has decided to ban the use of fireworks, as hot and dry conditions are expected to worsen this weekend.

City leaders waited as long as they could, hoping to see any change in the weather so they wouldn’t have to make this decision. Unfortunately, mother nature wasn’t on their side, so now they are relying on the community to play it safe and abstain from using explosives this weekend.

Prior to the ban, the city was allowing fireworks only on July 4 until Monday at 1am. Residents were looking forward to the holiday while still being aware of their neighbors and surroundings.

“We got the sprinklers going because it’s basically turning lush grass into dry grass and I get that, where they are coming from with the burn ban,” said Williston resident Alvin Kubicek, who purchased fireworks an hour before the city ban was announced.

With the change in plans, officials with both the Williston Fire and Police Departments are now looking to limit the potential for fires in and around the city. Both city and rural department leaders say they are ready for what could be a long weekend.

“We’re always available. We have 24-hour response for us as the fire department and we do have increased staff for the weekend,” said Williston City Fire Chief Matt Clark.

“We are a completely volunteer fire department, but we do essentially staff our department over the Fourth of July weekend. That’s any year, but especially this year,” said Williston Rural Fire Department Chief John Laqua.

Detective Zachary Schwartz with the Williston Police Department says setting off fireworks would not only stress the efforts of police and fire officials but could also endanger Williston’s water supply.

“Through our public works, they have pushed out that they’re running at about 75% capacity for their daily production, so there’s a lot of safety concerns,” said Schwartz.

Violating the ban could result in fines. Officials warn charges could be worse if you are found to be responsible of starting a fire.

Only commercial fireworks will be allowed in the city. This means there are two opportunities to view fireworks: After the races at the Upper Missouri Fairgrounds Saturday and a free Fourth of July event at the Raymond Center Sunday at 11:45.

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