Dry weather leads Oxford to ban all open burning, personal fireworks

Until further notice, all types of open burning and the use of any and all personal fireworks is strictly prohibited in Oxford Township and Village by order of Fire Chief Pete Scholz.

He enacted the ban on Wednesday, June 29 as result of all the hot, extremely dry weather the area’s experienced throughout the month of June.

According to Dan Thompson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in White Lake Township, 2.07 inches of rain has been measured at his office since June 1.

“But since June 7, we’ve only had 0.11 inches,” he said. “We had about an inch-and-a-half on (June, 4) and then we had another 0.35 on (June 5). That’s when the lion’s share of the rain happened this month. We had 0.05 on (June 6).”

Thompson noted there’s a “50 percent chance” of rain on the night of Thursday, June 30 and early Friday, July 1. Other than that, he said there’s “nothing in the seven-day forecast.”

Oxford’s ban applies to all consumer-grade and low-impact fireworks (ground-based and hand-held sparkling devices) as well as “novelties” such as snakes, party poppers and smoke balls.

Basically, everything from aerial shells to sparklers is prohibited “until the impending fire danger has been eliminated” and the chief deems it safe, according to the written order issued by Scholz.

This ban does not apply to the Seymour Celebration fireworks displays scheduled to occur at Seymour Lake Township Park on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9.

Scholz said the ban does not apply in this case because these displays are being conducted by licensed professionals (Colonial Fireworks, of Clayton, Michigan) in a single area over parkland that’s irrigated.

“All that field is nice and green and lush out there,” the chief said.

All recreational burning (i.e. campfires, fire pits, bonfires, etc.) and brush burning is also prohibited under the order until further notice.

Dry grass and other plant material is highly susceptible to fire right now, Scholz explained. He said even something as simple as a sparkler, if dropped on a dry lawn, “could set the whole thing off.”

Folks using charcoal-based grills are advised by Scholz to dispose of their ashes by placing them in a metal container and pouring water on them. Do not dump them in the yard or a field, he noted.


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