Fireworks ban goes into effect Monday for Oak Hill, Lake Helen and Pierson

public safety

Courtesy photo / Thick smoke billows from a wild fire off a muddy dirt road in DeLand near Daytona Park Estates subdivision where a dozen homes were briefly evacuated earlier in the week.

DELAND -- With growing concern about the extreme dry conditions, the spate of wild fires and a forecast that calls for less than normal rainfall, Volusia County Fire Chief Joseph Pozzo has been authorized to enact a fireworks ban that begins Monday in the unincorporated areas of Volusia County and the cities of Lake Helen, Oak Hill and Pierson, which are part of the county’s unified fire district.

The ban, approved Thursday by the Volusia County Council, will make it unlawful for anyone to discharge any type of firework. The ban will be in effect for 60 days. Pozzo also has been authorized to terminate the ban early if drought conditions and the threat of wildfire have been sufficiently alleviated.

Pozzo supports the ban, pointing out that over the past several days, Volusia County Fire Services and the Division of Forestry have battled more than 39 fires that have burned more than 825 acres.

“Thankfully, no structures were lost and nobody has been injured but the weather conditions remain extremely dry and we need to take pursue all preventative measures," Pozzo said.

Editor's Note: Of course, like any kind of restriction, there's always the proverbial loophole, which is presented here in fine print as follows:

"While discouraged, the only available exception to the firework ban shall be made for those persons who fully comply with the express requirements of Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 5A-3.001 governing the use of firecrackers in agricultural works and fish hatcheries."
The county statement further explains that the state rule allows any person who is" engaged in agricultural works or who operates a fish hatchery use of fireworks solely for the purpose of frightening birds from doing harm to any such person's agricultural works or fish hatchery operation; provided that any such person shall first file with the sheriff of the county in which he is engaged in agricultural works or the operation of a fish hatchery a statement in writing that he is engaged in agricultural works, describing the nature of such, or that he operates a fish hatchery, describing the nature of such, and desires to use firecrackers to frighten birds from harming his agricultural works or his fish hatchery operation and that firecrackers will be used solely and exclusively for that purpose. "
 

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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