NWA Police, Fire Respond to Nearly 400 Fireworks Complaints

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Dry conditions threatened the safety of people across the area this Fourth of July. So to prevent fire disasters many counties and cities across the area banned the use of personal fireworks. 

And while there were many professional shows, people still shot them off, police say.

Rogers was one of the only cities in Northwest Arkansas that didn't ban the use of personal fireworks.

“Instead we gave them a 12 hour window and we added extra crews and we did allow professional displays outside of that window but it was an overwhelming success," says Rogers Fire Chief, Tom Jenkins.

And while Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville, and Fayetteville didn't have any major fires caused by fireworks, they all received a number of complaints that people were shooting them off illegally.

Rogers had around 70 complaints, Fayetteville had 100, 54 complaints in Bentonville and 175 in Springdale.

Jenkins says they did research before implementing the restriction on personal fireworks, by checking with other states that are battling severe fire risks during this part of the year.

“And that they had some antidotal better success with restricting fireworks, increasing their staffing, educating the public, then they did banning,” adds Jenkins.

And while some may say fireworks are the main cause of fires, Jenkins says that's not necessarily the case.

“Fireworks often are characterized as the only way these problems exist, but the three causes of fire are men, women and children,” Jenkins said. “So when people do things careless whether it's intentional or not, you'll always have a problem so people need to be very mindful of the fact that burn bans are in place everywhere."

Out of those cities, Fayetteville police issued only one citation for using fireworks during a burn ban.