Thursday afternoon saw a joint statement and press release issued by the Boonville Fire Department and Cooper County Emergency Management Agency announcing the city's fireworks celebration, scheduled for Wednesday July 4, has been postponed until a "suitable date later this year." Tim Boggs, technician for the event, also joined in signing the statement.
The still-scheduled event is sponsored by the City of Boonville, Dave's Country Market and KWRT Radio. Boonville has a no-fireworks policy within the city limits, fireworks celebration aside.
"We hope the public understands and we wish to remind everyone that discharging fireworks in the city limits is prohibited and would be extremely dangerous at this time," they said.
Tom White, Cooper County EMA Director, suggested that using fireworks in any setting, because of the high-drought conditions currently being experienced in this part of the state, is unwise, regardless of the various regulations and ordinances found from county to county and city to city in central Missouri.
"In Cooper County, there is a burn-ban in effect. By token, if someone sets off fireworks – and those fireworks start a fire – one can be held liable," he said.
Each area municipality is entitled to enforce its own laws concerning the use of fireworks or the ability to make use of a controlled burn. Cooper County, though it has enacted a burn-ban, has not outlawed the use of fireworks. Drought conditions, however, currently make for an extremely dangerous environment.
According to the National Weather Service Kansas City/Pleasant Home office, the Boonville area is experiencing a D1 category drought. This level of dryness is classified as moderate. Sedalia, for instance, from the beginning of April until June 27, received only 8.23 inches of rain. Normal readings climb to 13.17 inches.
Kansas City is to have the driest 3-month period on record if conditions persist. Today's expected high for the area will approach 105 degrees Farenheit. The chance of rain over the next 10 days – on any day – does not exceed 20%.