Green Bay firefighters say use only legal fireworks this July 4th and use them safely

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) With the coronavirus pandemic canceling the fireworks show in the city of Green Bay, firefighters expect many people will try to put on their own. And as Local 5 found out, they are urging everyone to use only legal fireworks and to use them safely.

At a fire station on Green Bay’s west side a demonstration of what could happen, if sparklers make contact with clothes.

“We just want to make people very aware of what they’re doing because fireworks are very dangerous,” said Green Bay Metro Fire Department Lt. Shauna Walesh.

Sparklers can burn at temperatures reaching well over 1,000 degrees and in a moment can cause severe burns. But so too can many other fireworks – both legal and illegal. And Commander Kevin Warych from Green Bay’s police department says based on current police calls, many people are setting off the illegal kind.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of fireworks complaints coming into the police department,” said Warych.

Whether because of fireworks shows being canceled by the virus or people feeling cooped up in their homes, this 4th of July, Walesh says many are expected to light off some fireworks. And her message to all is please stick to the legal stuff.

“Anything that leaves the ground and explodes that is illegal in the Green Bay area,” said Walesh.

Walesh says when lighting fireworks, supervise your kids, don’t attempt to relight a dud, and keep a garden hose nearby. Because every year more than 10,000 people are treated for fireworks-related injuries.

“Injuries to the hands, burns, burned clothing, number one and two is burns,” said Capt. Joe Gabe from Green Bay Metro Fire Department.

And as for illegal fireworks, if caught sending them skyward you could face a $1,000 fine. Something Waryck says his officers won’t need to issue if everyone obeys the law.

“People still want to celebrate the 4th and hey, we’re all for that. We just want you to do that safely, quietly, so you don’t disrupt other people and leave fireworks to the professionals,” said Warych.

Fireworks started over 1,900 structure fires nationwide last year.

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