Mayor Jim Gray announced the Division of Fire and Emergency Services has issued a total ban on the use of common and consumer fireworks. The ban will remain in effect until the Division lifts the outdoor burning ban it issued last week, according to a press release.
Gray said the ban will not affect the five fireworks public displays that already have permits, including the community fireworks held downtown on July 4, and the Red, White and Boom display on July 7 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
“We’ve had 135 grass fires in the past two weeks in Lexington. Normally we would have no more than a handful in that time.” Gray said. The cause of 11 of those fires was traced to the use of fireworks. Others are related to lightning or cigarette butts, which recently caught mulch on fire at an apartment building and a church. Fire officials are unaware of any serious injuries related to the fires. They encouraged property owners and managers to keep mulch damp.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Gray said. “The decision we’re announcing today will not be popular with some, but it’s the right thing to do … the safe thing to do. We must do what we can to stop fires before they start.”