Statewide burn, firework bans under consideration

A grass fire on Belknap Hill in downtown Grand Rapids on June 24, 2016. (Courtesy: Jordon Karsies on Facebook)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Several Michigan communities have issued burning bans following a recent lack of rain as part of an effort to prevent fires that might get out of control.

The Lansing State Journal reports fire officials in dozens of Lansing-area communities on Monday and Tuesday banned open burning until conditions improve. Some Michigan communities are telling residents not to set off fireworks due to dry conditions.

State Fire Marshal Julie Secontine tells The Detroit News that she was considering whether it would be appropriate to recommend statewide bans on fireworks and burning because of extremely dry conditions heading into the Fourth of July weekend. reports the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has already banned open burning of debris for most of the northern Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula.

Grand Rapids police say three people threw fireworks onto Belknap Hill last Friday, starting a grass fire along westbound I-196 near the Ottawa Avenue exit ramp.

Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Fire Prevention Bureau advised residents to be cautious when using consumer-grade fireworks, warning of grass and brush fires. It said the dry conditions can cause fires to spark where fireworks are lit, where they land, and points between.

It reminded that city rules allow the use of consumer-grade fireworks only on the days before, of and following a national holiday. Under state law, fireworks may not be set off on public property, including streets and parks.

–24 Hour News 8 contributed to this report.

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