Unless something drastic and unexpected happens with the weather, there will be no fireworks this year in Russellville and Logan County.
Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick and the mayors of all four incorporated cities have issued burn bans - which include fireworks - because of the extremely dry weather.
All the bans will stay in effect until they are rescinded by executive order by each of the respective leaders.
“I urge all Logan County citizens to comply with this executive order so was can preserve Logan County’s timber resources,” Chick said in his order. “But more importantly, that we might preserve the most valuable resource Logan County has, the lives and well being of its priceless citizenry.”
Logan County was the first to issue the burn ban on Thursday afternoon. Russellville, Adairville, Lewisburg and Auburn all followed suit.
Chick said his burn ban allowed the cities to choose whether they wanted to let citizens shoot off fireworks.
“I figured since they all have their own fire departments, I would leave it up to them if they wanted to do something about that,” Chick said.
Initially, Russellville mayor Mark Stratton was going to allow fireworks to be set off during a 36-hour window that was to begin Tuesday, July 3 at noon and go through Thursday, July 5 at midnight.
Stratton issued his executive order on Friday, but after conditions got even hotter and drier over the weekend, he changed that to a blanket ban on all fireworks until further notice.
The Russellville Fire Department has had to respond to two house fires over the weekend - both of which were caused by fireworks.
“We’ve had two abandoned houses set on fire due to fireworks,” Russellville fire chief Billy Poole said. “We’ve also had to respond to two or three grass fires that were caused by fireworks. It’s just so dry right now that it doesn’t take much of anything to cause a fire.”
Poole said he was glad the mayor decided to ban the setting off of all fireworks in the city.
“It’s just too dangerous at this time,” he said. “I’m sure there are still going to be some people that do it though and we’ll still going out and responding to fires because of it.”
Victor Shifflett, the Russellville Police Department chief, said his office has already been responding to several calls about citizens violating the fireworks ban.
“We’ve been getting them pretty regularly, especially in the evenings,” Shifflett said. “We give them a warning at first and then if we have to come out a second time, we will charge them with disorderly conduct and seize the fireworks.”
Chick said that it will take a pretty good amount of rain before he will be lifting the countywide burn ban.
The weather forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday calls for a chance of thunder showers, but it will take more than just a quick storm to change things.
“It’ll take a good two or three days or rain to make it not quite so dangerous,” Poole said. “If we were to just get a little storm, the ground will just suck it up and it wouldn’t change much at all.”
The fireworks show scheduled for Elkton on July 3 has also been canceled due to the hot, dry weather.