Before lighting fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday, residents should check local ordinances to see if firework usage is permissible.
For area governments and fire departments, the biggest problem with fireworks at this time of the summer is fire. Summer is a drought season, and grass fires can often cause lots of damage besides other kinds of fire like house fires.
In Ville Platte, fireworks will not be allowed, according to Fire Chief Ted Demoruelle, within the city limits during the Fourth of July weekend.
Doug Deville, secretary/treasurer for the Evangeline Parish Police Jury, said he checked with parish president Bob Manuel, and fireworks will be allowed July 4, July 5, and July 6, in all areas of the parish, except incorporated areas, like Ville Platte, which have ordinances that state how fireworks should be utilized. Both Pine Prairie Mayor Terry Savant and Turkey Creek Mayor Blaine Janot said their communities will observe the parish’s hours for fireworks.
Mamou District Fire Chief Garry Reed said Mamou’s firework ordinance states fireworks can be utilized July 3, and July 4. The ordinance states “the hours of lawful discharging shall be between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. of each date specified in subsection A of this section as lawful with exceptions applying to the eves of Christmas, New Years and Independence Day (July 4) on which days discharge of fireworks may continue until 1 a.m...”
Reed said those who sell fireworks should remember it is unlawful to sell fireworks to children under the age of 10 or to any intoxicated or irresponsible person under Mamou’s ordinance. It is also unlawful to sell penny rockets or bottle rockets.
Mamou residences cannot discharge fireworks within 1,000 feet of any church, hospital, asylum or public school or within 75 feet of where fireworks are stored, sold or offered. You cannot throw fireworks from a motor vehicle or into a vehicle.
Mamou’s ordinance also states residents should utilize fireworks on their own property, and fireworks cannot be used on public property unless authorized by the governing property.
Mamou can fine those breaking the law up to $200 and/or up to 30 days in prison for each violation.
Parents should remember to supervise children using fireworks, because accidents can occur quickly.
Everyone is encouraged to enjoy and have a safe Fourth of July.