Severely dry conditions have triggered burn bans throughout Indiana but as the Fourth of July approaches, fire departments and local governments won’t be able to do anything to prevent the use of fireworks.
Michael Russell said he and his family couldn't wait to pick up some fireworks.
"We'll probably shoot off some leading up to the Fourth of July and come back and get some more for the Fourth," Russell said.
Though prolonged dry conditions have prompted more than a third of Indiana counties to enact burn bans, firework fans don't have to worry because state law prevents local governments and fire departments from banning fireworks beginning next week.
"You know, our hands are tied, we can't prohibit fireworks starting from June 29 all the way through July 8,” said John Barrett, spokesman for the Westfield Fire Department. ”So, we really have to get our word out and teach people the safety measures they need to take to keep their family safe."
Barrett said those measures includes shooting fireworks away from buildings and dry vegetation, keeping water or a fire extinguisher nearby and cleaning up remnants which can smolder for a long time.
Russell said he tries to keep his family as safe as possible.
"We're probably going to take these out to my parent's house out in Zionsville because they have a lot more space,” Russell said. “We live in an apartment complex here so that could kind of get a little dangerous."
In 2007, a fireworks mishap triggered a massive apartment fire at Mohawk Hills in Carmel. A similar fire started in Westfield a year later.
"We had an entire apartment building go up in fire because they shot a sparkler at brush right next to it,” Barrett said. “That caught the entire building on fire.
Russell said he appreciates the flexibility of the state law because he said he is careful, but he also understands the concern.
"It could be a little dangerous because you never know, there could be a teenager shooting them off and, you know, things get out of hand,” Russell said. “But I do like the freedom of still being able to enjoy fireworks during the season."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 fires in 2010, including 1,100 total structure fires. Sparklers caused more fires than any other firework.