By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
When it comes to shooting off fireworks, Yukon’s fire chief wants people to leave it up to the professionals.
“We don’t encourage people to ‘pop’ fireworks on their own,” Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt said this week. “We encourage them to come up and watch them at the park.”
Supervised fireworks’ displays will be featured next Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 during the City of Yukon’s annual Freedom Fest celebration at the Yukon City Park complex. The shows will be free to the public.
ARC Pyrotechnics, Inc. will provide the fireworks for this year’s two-day festival. The Yukon City Council at its June 2 meeting awarded a $39,900 contract to the Guthrie company to present the two displays.
Yukon fire personnel will be on alert during the Independence Day holiday week to respond to any fire or medical emergency. Yukon fire personnel will be at the Freedom Fest site during the July 3-4 festivities to help ensure the crowds stay safe.
“We’ll place a fire truck right down there where the fireworks are being set off,” Vogt said.
“We’ll have our crews spread out throughout the park to cover in case of any incidents.
“We’re there to keep it safe. In the past, we’ve had a few little spot fires here and there but nothing major.”
Yukon’s professional fireworks company is experienced and knows how to maintain a safe distance between the fireworks and spectators, the chief noted.
“A lot of thought goes into it and it’s a good deal for Yukon,” Vogt said. “Our citizens can go out and enjoy a good show and know they’re safe.
“That’s the best way to do it.”
HEY, IT’S ILLEGAL
Handling fireworks is not only dangerous, it’s downright illegal for people inside Yukon city limits.
Fireworks possession and use are strictly prohibited in the City of Yukon’s code of ordinances. Anyone caught shooting off fireworks inside Yukon’s corporate boundaries is subject to a $271 fine.
Yukon’s fire chief has a simple, family friendly solution for Yukon residents – come out to enjoy next weekend’s Freedom Fest festivities.
Yukon’s two supervised fireworks displays will begin about 10 p.m. both nights as patriotic music is played at the Chisholm Trail Park Gazebo.
“They do a tremendous job and I’m glad we’re getting to have it,” Vogt said.
Yukon residents are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to the parks and even watch from surrounding areas.
Discharging fireworks presents an even greater safety risk during dry spells when there already are increased grass fire dangers – both in the city and in rural areas, Chief Vogt noted.
“There are still some cities that allow fireworks,” he said. “But the way these things are nowadays, there’s just getting more and more dangerous.
“I’m glad the City of Yukon puts the time, effort and money into providing a good show for people. Residents can watch some really nice fireworks and stay safe.”