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No major incidents tied to fireworks on July 4 holiday

Jul 5, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Independence Day celebrations in Fremont County did not overwhelm fire departments.

A partial ban on fireworks was in effect across the county amid ongoing concerns about wildfires.

"Overall, it was a pretty safe holiday," Fremont County Fire Protection District chief Craig Haslam said. "There was nothing really significant. We did have some regular-type calls and some grass fires with suspected fireworks, but everyone was good and quiet."

According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office dispatch log, the agency received 34 calls concerning fireworks countywide since Tuesday night. Firefighters responded to 13 incidents.

"It seemed people listened (to the ban) and kept things calmed down," Haslam continued. "We really appreciated that."

Haslam's sigh of relief followed county governmental agencies implementing partial fire restrictions in the past week that included banning some types of fireworks in the county.

The Fremont County Commission gave initial approval to a total ban on fireworks but in an 11th-hour change, commissioners decided to allow certain fireworks.

In an emergency meeting Friday, the Lander City Council opted not to allow fireworks within city limits because of dry conditions and limited water resources.

Lander is one of the few communities in Wyoming that allows fireworks in town on the Fourth of July, a staple in the city's holiday festivities.

Lander police chief Jim Carey said there was only one citation issued for violating the ban.

David Hess, 32, of Lander, was cited after Carey said he repeatedly ignored officers' request to stop discharging fireworks at his residence.

Fire administrator Nick Hudson said Lander Volunteer firefighters were dispatched one time for a small fire at a Lander home that was because of a firecracker.

"It was a very small fire, but it definitely showed the reason why we requested the ban," Hudson said. "I'd like to thank the community for their cooperation."

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