Fireworks dealers in North Dakota hope for end to burn ban

June 20, 2017 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Fireworks dealers are hoping for rain to ease drought conditions in parts of North Dakota and lift a ban against setting off pyrotechnics.

Mandan, Lincoln, Morton and Burleigh counties have imposed a fireworks ban because of extremely dry conditions, The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2rMcQsl ) reported. More than a half dozen counties are struggling with similar conditions.

In Bismarck, Memory Fireworks ordered pyrotechnics from China in August. They began arriving in May.


“We’re remaining positive,” said Shannon Knutson, co-owner of Memory Fireworks. “While we’re grateful they’re still allowing us to sell fireworks, we’re hoping, with these few days of rain, Burleigh County would be kind enough, to us, to lift the ban.”

The burn ban will be re-evaluated in the coming days. Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering said a decision will be based on rural fire chiefs’ recommendations.

“We still want people to come out and buy like they normally would,” said Chris Houston, owner of Torch’s Fireworks in Bismarck. “Once the burn ban lifts, you’ll want to have fireworks for family.”

Allen Schlag, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, said this week’s weather of cooler air and some expected showers should prevent the dry conditions from worsening.

“We’ve seen some improvement,” Schlag said. “The grass, which was pretty brown, is starting to show some growth and the color is coming back to green.”


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com