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Dry conditions extinguish many fireworks plans

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Firework displays won't be lighting up the sky at most of the usual places this Fourth of July after many cities have cancelled because of the extreme heat and dry weather.

Fire Marshall Roger Herin from the Monarch Fire district said there have been four or five grass and brush fires in May and June.

Among the fireworks displays that have been cancelled are Hazelwood, Vandalia, Weldon Spring, Ellisville, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Lebanon, Ill., Jefferson Barracks, Farmington, Arnold, Chesterfield, Washington, Mo., Manchester, Pacific, Eureka, Columbia, Ill., and Caseyville.

Herin said the risk of fires is much higher because it is so dry, and the falling embers from fireworks will increase the risk of grass fires, which he said spread extremely fast in these conditions. Herin said he would encourage people to water their lawns and clean out their gutters so stray embers or bottle rockets don't get stuck and cause house fires.

As of Monday, the following areas are still planning on having the displays. But check the websites to ensure that celebrations will go on as scheduled.

St. Louis | Fair St. Louis

Gateway Arch grounds

St. Charles | Riverfest

Frontier Park

O'Fallon, Mo. | Heritage and Freedom Fest

Ozzie Smith Sports Complex

Alton

Alton riverfront

Ferguson

Wabash Memorial Park

Josie Butler is a Beacon intern.

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