Citing unseasonable fire danger and exceptional drought, Ketchum and Blaine County joined Hailey in banning fireworks this week.

Discharging any consumer-type firework in Ketchum, Hailey or Blaine County is now a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Prohibited fireworks include bottle rockets, sky rockets, firecrackers, mortars, Roman candles, fountains, ground spinners, missiles, smoke bombs, parachutes, sky flyers and sparklers.

Ketchum and Hailey's bans will remain in effect through the July Fourth holiday and 180 days after—until Dec. 31—unless rescinded or made permanent. Blaine County’s ban will last for the duration of fire season, until Oct. 31.

Blaine County is looking at “significant wildfire potential” starting on July 1, according to a seasonal fire outlook published by the National Interagency Coordination Center on June 11.

“We have dry grasslands throughout the county, sagebrush and bitterbrush along all of our roadways and behind homes,” Blaine County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg said Tuesday. We simply cannot afford to have another wildfire that causes not only property damage, but also economic damage.

“I can’t think of any place where fireworks would be safe this year.”

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Idaho Mountain Express.

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