By Conrad Dudderar
When asked to share his advice about shooting off fireworks, Yukon’s fire chief is telling residents to leave it up to the professionals.
Supervised fireworks’ displays will be featured next Monday and Tuesday nights, July 3-4 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. of Guthrie will again provide the fireworks for this year’s two-day festival. For several years, the City of Yukon has contracted with ARC to present the supervised displays.
This professional fireworks company is experienced and knows how to maintain a safe distance between the fireworks and spectators, Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt pointed out.
“The City of Yukon does a really good job putting on Freedom Fest,” Vogt said this week. “There’s a lot of fun and activities out there – in the afternoon and evening on the Third and all day on the Fourth.”
Yukon fire personnel will be on alert during the Independence Day holiday festivities to respond to any fire or medical emergency.
Fire crews will be out at the Freedom Fest site July 3-4 to help ensure attendees – and the park’s neighbors – stay out of harm’s way.
“We will have crews spread out throughout the park for coverage in case we have any issues with the fireworks,” Chief Vogt said. “As much rain as we’ve had, I’m not too worried about any spot fires. The grass is pretty green.”
A Yukon Fire Department crew will be on a utility terrain vehicle at Freedom Fest responding to any medical calls on the event grounds.
“A lot of that is going to be heat-related,” Vogt predicted.
“We’d like people to try and stay in the shade as much as they can. The number one key is stay hydrated – drink lots of water, fluid and something with electrolytes in it.”
ILLEGAL IN YUKON CITY LIMITS
Handling fireworks is not only dangerous – it’s illegal for citizens in 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 fine.
While some neighboring municipalities allow the public to have fireworks, Yukon’s fire chief cited the dangers they often create.
He has a simple, family friendly solution for Yukon residents.
“We encourage people to come out and enjoy the festivities,” Vogt emphasized. “This is one of our biggest events, and the City of Yukon goes all-out to have a lot of good, fun activities for the adults and the kids.”
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.
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.
Fortunately, the recent wet weather has reduced that risk.