Jun 22, 2021 - News
Des Moines fire chief warns against fireworks use during drought
A group of people watch fireworks at night in New York City.
Fireworks in New York City on June 15, 2021. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

We're two weekends away from fireworks galore, but Des Moines' zest for booms plus the city's dry summer could result in more accidental fires, according to fire chief John TeKippe.

Why it matters: Though serious fires caused by fireworks are rare, TeKippe is worried about an increase in grass fires due to Des Moines' drought conditions, he told City Council members Monday.

  • Grilling in these conditions could also contribute to more fires, TeKippe said.

Between the lines: Most metro cities have banned fireworks or limited their use to July 3-4, but state law doesn't restrict their sales.

  • Des Moines doesn't allow the private use of fireworks, but police say it's difficult to enforce the ordinance.

What they're saying: City staff and police said they also plan on upping patrols at parks to monitor for fireworks.

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