National firework shortage and dry conditions pose risk for Fourth of July
"It seems like more people now are coming in out of panic because they heard about the shortage of fireworks on the news."
NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) — Fourth of July celebrations might be a little less colorful.
“Retail week’s first day was strong. It was huge. Saturday was a good day as well, but Sunday being the first day for Fargo it was very busy and it was crowded,” Starr Fireworks Owner Johnny Starr said.
With June 27th marking the first day fireworks can be sold in North Dakota, it had people flocking to Starr Fireworks.
“It seems like more people now are coming in out of panic because they heard about the shortage of fireworks on the news and different things in short of fireworks,” said Starr.
Starr says the shortage may be due to the trailing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The biggest shortage is basically container ships coming into L.A. and Long Beach, people not feeling comfortable and not working there. They’re running about 40 percent staff. As of April when I was there looking at the situation the ships are all in the U.S we just can’t get them unloaded and get them here,” Starr said.
While the national shortage could put a damper on Fourth of July celebrations, recent drought conditions also pose a major risk.
“Anytime we have dry conditions we always have to watch what we’re doing with any type of fire. If you are going to launch fireworks make sure you have plenty of clear space. We don’t want you to launch into another building or other people. We need to make sure that you have a water source nearby. That’s the most important thing with fireworks on the fourth,” West Fargo Fire Department’s Fire Inspector John Neeb said.
Starr says people in search of pyrotechnics to honor Independence Day don’t have to panic just yet as he’s in no short supply.
“Here at Starr Fireworks we’re pretty packed up with merchandise because we were open all year long so we had the shelves stocked all year long as well,” said Starr.
While Fargo prohibits the use or possession of fireworks per a city ordinance, you can still launch fireworks in West Fargo on the Fourth of July from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Aerial and explosive fireworks are illegal in Minnesota.