Rethink July 4th plans: Warren County burn ban in effect

WARREN CO., Ky.-A burn ban is in effect for all of Warren County.

“Pray for rain.”

Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon signed an executive order for the burn ban because of excessive dryness and fire hazards. 

The ban includes burning materials outdoors or setting off fireworks…which can easily cause wildfires during dry conditions. 

“It burns up a lot of public time…it exposes the firefighters to hazards that they shouldn’t be exposed to just because someone refuses to understand the hazards and risks of this type of drought,” said Buchanon. 

Buchanon says they implemented a ban on almost the same day a decade ago on July 26th, 2012….and it worked. 

“A lot of people just respected the fact that they shouldn’t do it and held off until after the 4th of July,” said Buchanon. 

And with the 4th less than a week away you may already be planning your fireworks celebrations with friends and family…so the question is can you still set fireworks off legally?

The short answer is no. 

Buchanon says fireworks are allowed by permit and when professionals oversee the preparation and usage. Any rare individuals could be allowed on a case by case basis. 

“We’ve been in this before,” said Amy Burge, owner of Skylite Fireworks. 

Burge said she hasn’t seen a decrease in fireworks purchases yet and she’s not sure there will be one. Sales have skyrocketed…quite literally…over the past few years.

“There are a lot more people shooting fireworks today than say ten years ago when we were in this situation. There’s a lot more people that made fireworks a tradition,” said Burge. 

Burge educates her customers and doesn’t want anyone to break the law.

But with her shop located right off the highway, her customers may be setting them off in other counties. 

“We get a lot of out of town traffic, we get people from out of state and we just don’t know,” said Burge. 

And things could change with rain in our forecast. Burn bans are always temporary…we just have to wait. 

“A significant rainfall could change things pretty quickly…a little drizzle or a quick hard rain won’t change much but if we get a soaker we would go ahead and negate this,” said Buchanon.