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Michigan fireworks: Fire danger continues, prompting cancelation fears

Michigan officials are worried about the risk of fire in much of the state. Rain is expected to start Sunday, but city officials statewide are monitoring forecasts as fireworks (Shutterstock)
  • Most of the state is at a high or very high risk of fire 
  • Burn bans remain in several cities, and the U.S. Forest Service is beefing up staff from out-of-state in case of fires
  • Fireworks season is approaching, and some festivals already have dropped displays

Festivals this month in Potterville, Oxford, and Frankenmuth all had one thing in common: no fireworks because of dry conditions and the threat of fire. 

Much of the state remains at very high or extreme risk for fire, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  The state is not issuing open burn permits in much of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.


“We are experiencing a drought across the majority of the northern Lower Peninsula.” said Paul Rogers, fire prevention specialist for the DNR. 


The state has been in a dry spell for about a month and very few days of rainfall. The combination of dry and humid conditions can cause fires to break out rapidly and quickly. 

The U.S. Forest Service is bringing in extra staff from nearby states because of the fire conditions, he confirmed. 

Earlier this month, a small fire on private property in Crawford County near Grayling resulted in some 3,000 acres of scorched land. 

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather warning in Michigan. Rain is expected to arrive Sunday night and continue early next week for much of the Lower Peninsula. 

Many municipalities issued burn bans until further notice while some are considering extending them. 

Burn bans in Battle Creek, East Lansing, Meridian Township, St. Johns and Mason remain until further notice. These cities are also not issuing more open burn permits. 

Lansing has a burn ban that is set to expire on June 30, but the fire department is considering extending it through July 4 if conditions worsen. 

If the burn permit is extended, all fireworks will be prohibited. 

“The houses are so close together (that) it would not take much to start several house fires with the fireworks in the condition we are in right now,” said Mark Burger, Lansing fire marshal. 

As of now, the city has not canceled its annual fireworks show. Many major fireworks shows are proceeding as planned, including the Ford Fireworks in Detroit on Monday night. 


The Battle Creek Fire Department is expected to announce guidelines regarding fireworks safety in the coming days. 

“We ask (people) to make sure they do not shoot them into wooded areas or grass fields,” Rogers said. “The fires could sit there and smolder all night and people will not see it. Then when it's dry the next day the fires will pick up and take off.” 

Michigan law prohibits municipalities from banning fireworks from  June 29 through July 4. Residents can use fireworks on private property but lighting them on public property including sidewalks, streets, at schools and churches is illegal. Violators can be fined up to $500.

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