LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - We're just days away from the 4th of July and officials want to make sure everyone has a good, but responsible time.
In La Crosse, fireworks are legal to shoot off as long as they don't explode and don't leave the ground. Anything else you'll need a permit.
The La Crosse Police Department will have extra patrols out over the weekend. Anyone caught using illegal fireworks faces a $124 fine, and that can add up if you're being noisy late at night. "Have a good time out there, but most importantly be safe and also be courteous to your neighbors and the people in and around the La Crosse area," said Lt. Pat Hogan from the La Crosse Police Department.
The La Crosse Fire Department says fireworks cause thousands of fires across the nation every year. Each of the past two years they've caused a brush fire, and six years ago an illegal rocket started a house fire.
If you are putting on your own show, firefighters recommend making sure kids are supervised and the person lighting the fireworks isn't drinking alcohol.
"If you're going to use the legal consumer fireworks, that you have a bucket of water in a non-combustible type pail and that you soak your fireworks for a long period of time, overnight even, in that pail of water before disposing of them," said Division Chief Craig Snyder.
If you are lighting off legal fireworks, make sure you're doing it safely. Here's a tip from the La Crosse Skyrockers, the fireworks pros in our area. "If you do have sparklers or little snakes for your kids in your backyard, do it, make sure it's controlled and it's not a huge party and there's all kinds of kid running around, take the respect that fireworks deserve, they can burn, and they can injure people," said Skyrockers President Pat Bonadurer.
All the officials we talked to say if you want to enjoy a fireworks show, take in the big show the Skyrockers will put on this Friday night. They say as long as it's not raining, and as long as the river doesn't get much higher, they'll light up the sky for their annual show during Riverfest.
"This one's going to be more compact, for us it's going to work out okay, we can shoot electronically, we like to spread the show out, we think it looks a little better, it reflects off the river a little better, but mother nature's saying you gotta do it a little different this year, and the Skyrockers will adapt," said Bonadurer.
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