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Fireworks, Already In Short Supply, Could Also Pose Greater Fire Hazard This July 4th

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, there's a fireworks shortage due to supply-chain problems. That's sparked high prices. But there's also a warning about high fire danger across Minnesota.

At Fireworks Direct in Hammond Wisconsin, 20 miles east of the Minnesota border the shelves are fully stocked but it hasn't been easy.

"Some of the novelty items, roman candles, sparklers we had to really work hard to get those," owner Matt Lamb said.

Lamb says shipping costs have doubled forcing him to raise some prices 5% to 10%.

"We are trying real hard to keep it down for our consumers," he said.

That's not stopping most fireworks fans. But this year might not be the best for setting off holiday displays.

"There are always safety concerns with fireworks. This year there is an added risk, the drought we have been experiencing in the region raises the threat of brushfire," WCCO meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said. "Brushfires can start incredibly easily not just owing to how dry the ground is but how hot it's going to be this 4th of July. I would say the combination of two factors I would say makes it the most dangerous fireworks season in about a decade or so."

Safety experts say if you are setting off fireworks. Be aware of conditions, have water nearby, and make sure any embers or sparks are extinguished.

Lamb also has advice for those still seeking the best selection of fireworks.

"Come early," he said.

Aerial fireworks are not legal in Minnesota, but they are in Wisconsin.


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