Casper Fire-EMS has a few tips for handling fireworks safely.

Unless you live in Natrona County, in which case you shouldn't handle them at all -- unless you're running a permitted commercial event -- because they're illegal. All of them. Everywhere.

"What's going to happen on the Fourth is we're going to have one inspector out just taking fireworks calls," said Casper Fire-EMS inspector and investigator Dean Jackett.

The Natrona County Commission years ago banned all fireworks in the county, including Casper and the other municipalities, because of the potential for wildland fires in central Wyoming's dry climate, Jackett said.

"We have grass fires that turn into building fires," he said.

Casper Fire-EMS will handle calls within city limits and the Natrona County Sheriff's Office will handle them everywhere else in the county.

Their officers regard enforcing the law as a matter of education, and usually want to inform people that shooting off fireworks can burn down someone's house, he said.

"However, we can issue citations or confiscate the fireworks if we deem that necessary," Jackett said.

Possession of fireworks is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $750 fine, Jackett said.

Regardless of what you may have heard, "fireworks" doesn't just mean cherry bombs and bottle rockets, he said.

They include the ostensibly benign sparklers, which can burn at a minimum of 1,200 degrees and up to 2,000 degrees, he added.

But if you are outside Natrona County, and the county you're in doesn't forbid them, Jackett has a few recommendations.

Ignite them on a hard, noncombustible surface such as concrete or asphalt. Don't use them in grassy areas.

And always have adult supervision if children are present, Jackett added.


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