Fireworks displays still scheduled despite burn ban

The 4th of July is just right around the corner, but now is not the time to be shooting fireworks. However, a few fireworks shows in Region 8 offer your fireworks fix without the hassle.
Severe drought conditions plus burn bans all throughout Northeast Arkansas have created a recipe for disaster. Add fireworks into the mix, and the outcome could be explosive. Something that's raised questions about fireworks displays throughout Region 8.
"We spoke with the fire department this morning and reassured each other that we're dealing with a very fire safe environment," Trey Stafford with the Jonesboro Radio Group said Thursday. He said they've taken extreme precautions this year to make sure Freedom Fest is still a go.
"We're gonna have a fire truck and firemen on sight so if there are any issues, they're on sight and ready to help us deal with it," Stafford told Region 8 News.
Alan Dunn with the Jonesboro Fire Department said if you're not an organization like the Jonesboro Radio Group or East Arkansas Broadcasters, you're not allowed to shoot off fireworks.
"Now that doesn't keep people from doing it but there is an ordinance against it. So if you get caught doing it you're subject to a ticket," Dunn said.
Dunn wants people to know that with this burn ban in effect, some don't realize how quickly things can get out of hand.
"I know there are some people out there who will think "can't happen to me" but...it will," Dunn said.
Stafford said, they'll have a zero tolerance for anyone who tries to shoot off their own fireworks at Freedom Fest.
"Number one concern is safety...but now that it's so dry, the number two concern is certainly fire," he said.
Stafford said they'll also have Jonesboro Police on hand. They will arrest anyone who shoots off personal fireworks.
He said this is all so that Freedom Fest can be a fun and safe event.
"We've got an incredible show," Stafford said. "So come out and see the show and do it in a really safe and hopefully fire free way."
     Freedom Fest is at a new location this year. It'll take place on July 4th at the Southside Softball Complex in Jonesboro.
     At this time, EAB's Fourth in the Forest and Paragould's Big Bang Firework's Blowout are also still scheduled to take place.
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