Just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, the State Division of Forestry says there are no more brush fires in Palm Beach County, thanks to a few days of rain.
The Palm Beach County fire marshal put a burn ban on the eastern half of the county that does not include a ban on fireworks. The only problem with that being that fireworks are illegal to use for most people, thanks to Florida Statutes.
Here are a couple of ways to get away with blowing up fireworks anyway:
- Take the legal way out
There are a few types of fireworks you can light on fire that's not illegal to do so, under the title of "sparklers." It sounds lame, and it is. Included under the definition of "sparklers" are glow worms, party poppers, snappers, trick matches, and exploding cigarettes. Totally un-American, but also legal methods of blowing things up to celebrate the Fourth of July.
- Build a train
To buy the good stuff from a fireworks retailer in the state, you have to sign a waiver that says you're not going to use the fireworks illegally. The waiver says that you promise you're going to use the fireworks in an approved manner, which is very difficult unless you get a permit from your county. One of those methods is if you're blasting fireworks on behalf of a railroad or other transportation agency, which could be your best bet for legally blowing up the big stuff.
- Don't get caught
A Palm Beach County sheriff's spokesman told the Palm Beach Post that they're not doing any extra enforcement for people setting off some backyard fireworks. The same spokesman also told the Post two years ago that "one thing about fireworks, when they go off, so does the evidence." So if you can't be seen by a cop driving on normal patrol, your neighbors don't rat you out, and you're not too bothered by the maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, lighting fireworks anyway could take some consideration.
- Obligatory point to not blow up fireworks
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West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County are still advocating -- as they do every year -- that people shouldn't set off their own fireworks and should head to the public fireworks displays instead. Everyone has a neighbor whose uncle, possibly with the nickname of "Four-fingered Fred," has blown off some digits by blowing up his own fireworks. And the Broward Sheriff's Office will also let you know that lighting your own fireworks will explode you and your watermelon.