Illegal burns can result in a burn in your wallet


(WLNS) – With the dry and hot weather in Mid-Michigan, the fire ban put in place is for safety, not to ruin holiday weekend plans, but there are consequences if not followed.

“We’re not here to disrupt anyone’s fun, we’re here to protect lives and property,” Fire Chief of Meridian Township Fred Cowper said.

Each fire department handles consequences differently, in Meridian it is a fine which can range upwards of 200 dollars.

In Delta Township, its a different story.

“It results in being billed for the run, it becomes a nuisance call and it’s billed. Probably the minimum in the 400 to 500 dollar range, it could very easily become a house fire if they do a full on assignment, could be in the 2,000 to 3,000 dollar range,” Fire Chief od Delta Township Fire John Clark said.

The parameters of who can hand out tickets, either the fire department, or police or both, also differs between townships.

Thursday, every Fire Chief in the Mid-Michigan area, along with the state fire marshal, will discuss the severity of conditions, to determine the possibility of a personal firework ban, because of these extremely dry conditions.

“This is a tinderbox, things ignite easier, travel more rapidly, and with the wind that can become difficult to contain,” Cowper said.

The main concern for every fire chief is not how the bans in place affect holiday plans, but how they will keep people safe and avoid any major damage.

“Being proactive here, asking everybody to help and we’ll get through this and there will be a time when you can have fireworks,” Cowper said.

If there is a ban on personal fireworks, an official statement will be made late Thursday or early Friday.

The consequences for lighting off personal fireworks during a ban would be confiscation, unless people resist.

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