By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
No one likes to see restraints put on summer fun.
But, with the extreme dryness in the area right now, we all have to take some extra precautions to avoid any chance of starting a fire.
In normal years, things like fire pits at the lake and shooting off fireworks wouldn’t be much of a concern. Driving across a harvested field or pasture is a necessity sometimes for our ag producers.
But, the summer of 2012 is not a normal one. There have been numerous record-setting temperatures, more than I remember in any other year here.
On top of that has been little moisture—only .61 of an inch this month and 1.12 inches in May; that’s less than two inches over a two-month period. April had nearly five inches of rain, but that is long gone now.
Because of the concern with the chance of fire, the city council is meeting this Thursday night to consider an ordinance banning the discharge of fireworks in the city of Imperial.
A look at some of the statistics related to fires caused by fireworks is a little astounding.
Read the guest editorial below, which notes in 2010 alone there were 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks in the U.S., with 8,600 injuries—and those were just injuries treated in the ER.
It was also news in these quarters that there is an organization called the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks. Formed in 2003 by a group of 21 health and safety organizations, it continues to discourage any use of consumer fireworks in the U.S.
Some of the organizations in that Alliance include the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Fire Protection Association and other medical and firefighter groups.
According to the Alliance, during a normal July 4 holiday, fireworks cause more fires in the U.S. than all other causes of fire combined.
Colorado took action several weeks ago to ban consumer use of fireworks this year due to the dry conditions in our neighboring state to the southwest. You only have to turn on the news any time of the day to hear about the massive fires burning in that state.
City council members may struggle with their vote Thursday night to ban the discharge of fireworks in Imperial this year. But, they should be supported if that’s the action they choose to take.
This isn’t a normal year. Area firefighters have already been out on at least a dozen calls in the past 10 days, the majority related to the excessive heat and dry conditions.
We should take all the precautions we can in avoiding use of fire in any form right now.
And, pray for rain!