The Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) recently posted an online reminder to the public that fireworks are illegal on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
“Over the last few years, homeowners adjacent to Seashore beaches have voiced concerns about the personal use of fireworks by beach visitors,” read the statement. “As a reminder, it is illegal to detonate fireworks, or have fireworks in your possession, at Cape Hatteras National Seashore…”
“Conditions have been very dry on the Outer Banks recently. According to the National Safety Council, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and nearly 17,000 other fires.”
The only legally permitted fireworks within Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year will occur at the Ocracoke boat ramps on the evening of July 3rd and at the Avon Fishing Pier on the evening of July 4th via planned and professionally orchestrated Independence Day celebrations. Beachgoers are also encouraged to call 252-473-3444 if they notice fireworks being used during their visit.
The N.C. Forest Service echoed this statement on a statewide level, noting that elevated wildfire risks due to abnormally dry conditions in Eastern North Carolina are prompting officials across the region to urge extreme caution with fireworks this Independence Day.
Forecast chances for rain are slight at best, and are unlikely in the southeastern counties for the next several days, where warm temperatures will continue to raise the risk of wildfires.
“There were 35 wildfires sparked by fireworks in North Carolina in 2018 despite it being a very wet year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “To reduce the risk of starting wildfires from fireworks during the upcoming holiday, we recommend enjoying professional fireworks shows rather than setting off personal fireworks if possible.”
The N.C. Forest Service also noted that even small fireworks such as sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers and other Class C fireworks can be hazardous. For example, sparklers burn at temperatures above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Glow worms burn directly on the ground near ignition sources.
For more information on Independence Day celebrations occurring on the islands, visit https://islandfreepress.org/outer-banks-news/hatteras-and-ocracoke-islands-4th-of-july-events/.