Fireworks - Illegal on all Federally Managed Public Lands
***Posted to the @PublicLandsHateYou Instagram account on 6/26/2019***
The first celebration of the Independence of the United States of America was held on July 4th 1777. It was notably celebrated in Philadelphia, then the capital of the young country, with “a grand exhibition of fireworks”. That #tradition has continued, with Americans spending an estimated $1 BILLION purchasing 268 MILLION pounds of fireworks in 2018.
But, did you know that it’s #illegal to use, and even possess, fireworks and other incendiary devices (including smoke bombs!) on many of our public lands? Fireworks are not allowed on any lands managed by the National Park Service, Forest Service, or BLM, and are often restricted or banned in State Parks, on other public lands, in many municipalities, and even entire states (Sorry Massachusetts).
Planning to celebrate with a flash and a bang this 4th of July? Then plan on doing some research. Fireworks regulations vary significantly by land management agency, location, and geography. Fireworks may be #banned outright, restricted to certain areas/times, or may require a permit. Restrictions may be put in place due to #wildfire, #litter, #wildlife, #weather, or #safety concerns. Contact your local land management agency directly if you are unsure of the local rules.
Find a legal place light #fireworks? Great! The next step is to be prepared for the event. No matter what kind of fireworks you plan to use, clear away any flammable debris from the launch/lighting zone, ideally during daylight, to reduce the risk of an unplanned fire. Have a fire extinguisher and/or water source readily available in case an unplanned fire starts. There were over 12,000 fireworks related injuries last year, so have a plan for the worst, be it dialing 911 (if you have cell service) or knowing where the nearest emergency services are located. Build time into your schedule to clean up any litter from fireworks, particularly in the launch area.
Most people expect to hear/see #fireworks around the #4thofjuly, but that doesn’t mean they want to hear them into the wee hours of the morning. Be aware of your surroundings and the potential impact of your actions on our #publiclands and the rights of those around you to enjoy them.