County divided on Firework Ban
By Kate Johnson
Several towns throughout Mercer County have given the green light on sparking a flame this Fourth of July.
At Beulah’s regular city council meeting there was a wordy discussion on whether they should enforce a fireworks ban. The end result came out that they would ban all fireworks within city limits. Hazen went the opposite way, having a brief discussion which resulted in continuing to allow fireworks. However, they did say if there was extreme fire danger then their tune may change.
As for the county itself, Mercer County cannot ban fireworks; however, it does have a fire ban declaration which follows the state’s fire danger code. Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzisen said the county has to follow the state, since Mercer isn’t a home-rule county.
However, being under a Stage I Burn Ban means no controlled burns, no large pit fires, no burning garbage, no throwing cigarette butts or anything out into a grassy area that may start a burn -- which includes fireworks.
The county is under a burn ban only when the ND Fire Danger Ratings Map shows high, very high, extreme, or when a red flag warning has been issued for the county. The ND Fire Danger Ratings Map can be seen at www.nd.gov/des/Default.asp -- the rating changes daily and is based on how fast a fire will burn.