December 29, 2010
It's a popular July tradition you may also see in January. But this year there's a warning for those ringing in the New Year with fireworks. With some burn bans still in effect, and new regulations for fireworks this year, fire officials are setting the record straight on who will be allowed to begin 2011 with a bang.
A burn ban remains in effect for the city of Wichita, but even if that wasn't the case, fireworks on New Years Eve are not allowed within Wichita city limits.
In Sedgwick County, there's not a burn ban in effect, and regulations did change to allow fireworks on the Fourth of July this year. However, on New Years Eve, it's a different story.
Haysville resident Don Boor is notorious in his neighborhood for his Fourth of July celebrations.
"The Fourth of July is kind of my deal and it's always been my deal, and we do get pretty serious about it," said Boor.
But Boor's enthusiasm reaches beyond July and all the way to December, when on New Years Eve he's made it a tradition to stay home and celebrate with fireworks. Since Boor lives in Haysville, he's allowed to do so, as there's an ordinance allowing residents to shoot fireworks on New Years Eve.
Haysville Police say residents to do take advantage of that ordinance.
"Quite a few, quite a few. Not anywhere near the Fourth of July but we do have a lot," said Haysville Police Lt. Robert Crites.
But people living outside Haysville may need to ring in the New Year without fireworks. Even though Sedgwick County changed fireworks regulations this year to allow them on Independence Day, the change does not apply to New Years Eve.
"There's always going to be those that set them off, and there's fines that come with that. But you know, just safety first," said Sedgwick County Fire Division Chief Terry Mauldin.
It's especially important advice this year, in light of the unusually dry weather, which firefighters say could make for a busy New Years Eve.
"It's just pretty much a routine night but with it being dry this could be interesting," said Mauldin.
Even though New Years fireworks aren't allowed in unincorporated Sedgwick County, some cities have ordinances allowing them, like Haysville. Residents should check city regulations before firing them off. Firefighters say it's also important to remember to shoot fireworks where they were bought.