Fireworks sales fizzle in Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Fireworks vendors are feeling the heat of the burn bans across Region 8.

Devalyn Duke with Uncle Sam's Fireworks in Jonesboro says Uncle Sam's has had a 70 to 75 percent decrease in revenue.

"If sales do not pick up in the next couple of days, many vendors will not survive financially this season," he said.  "The local vendors, this is their livelihood."

Duke has sold fireworks at Uncle Sam's for the past six years. The business has been around since 1968.

"This season has been by far the worst that we've seen in probably 30 years," Duke said.

Fireworks City employees say sales are also down for the family-run business.

"Usually on the third we're very busy and lines and we had people," said employee Chandler Gill.

Gill said sales started decreasing over the past few years as the economy suffered, but business has never been as slow as it is now.

Duke isn't just worried about today. He says the plunge in sales affects everyone.

"It kind of causes a chain reaction because these guys are local guys that own these places most of them, and obviously when people buy local, that money goes back out into our community as well."

Jonesboro police say shooting fireworks inside the city limits is prohibited.

Craighead County Judge Ed Hill issued a burn ban for Craighead County June 28.

The ban prohibits all open burning and makes it unlawful for anyone to burn leaves, trash or any other combustible material until further notice.

Fireworks are included in the ban, according to David Moore, the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Agency Coordinator.

Moore says until further notice, the only fireworks that are allowed are the public displays put on by professionals.

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