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Miss-Lou residents urged to be safe, cautious during Fourth of July

By Chase Ladner

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Local fire departments are expecting to hear more fireworks than fire alarms this Independence Day.

“People seem to be taking fireworks really serious, and I love that” Chief Nolan Cothren of Concordia Fire District No. 2 said. “Makes my job easier.”

Cothren said Concordia Parish has not seen any major firework related fires or injuries in years.

“Most people are pretty careful with them,” Cothren said.

In past years, the region would be under drought and fire warnings around this time, Cothren said. But the recent rains should help prevent any fires.

Cothren advises residents to be careful and do not let children play with fireworks unsupervised.

In Vidalia, explosive and noise making fireworks are normally not allowed within city limits, but an exception is made for certain holidays including the Fourth of July, Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis said.

“We ask that residents stop shooting fireworks after 10 p.m. and that everyone take extra safety precautions,” Lewis said. “We want everyone to be safe and out of danger.”

In Natchez, fireworks are not allowed within the city limits, said Natchez Police Department Detective Jerry Ford.

“We know that some residents will probably be doing it,” Ford said. “But we encourage them to take it outside of the city limits, to the county and do it in a safe environment.”

Anyone shooting fireworks within city limits will get a warning before fines or other actions are pursued, Ford said.

Miss-Lou Residents are encouraged to follow safety tips when shooting fireworks.

• Read and follow the label directions carefully, and shoot fireworks only with adult supervision.

• Have a garden hose or water bucket nearby for medical emergencies and/or to douse spent or misfired fireworks.

• Fireworks should be placed on a hard, smooth surface prior to ignition. Do not hold fireworks in hand to light them.

• Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars or buildings.

• Keep fireworks away from small children.

• Do not alter or make your own fireworks.

• After displays, never pick up fireworks that may be left over.