Even though Huntington County residents can once again light their campfires and brush piles, they are still being cautioned to use extra care with open fires.
The burn ban in Huntington County and city, which had been in effect since June 15, was lifted on Friday, July 27.
With the lifting of the ban, the Huntington fireworks display has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4.
Leon Hurlburt, deputy chief and fire marshal with the Huntington Fire Department, cautions residents that they still need to use care with their fires.
"It is absolutely possible that fire can still spread," he says. "I caution people - use safety precautions."
Anyone starting a fire should stay near it at all times, he says, and have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby, "just in case."
The Huntington fireworks display will be set off from the grounds of Huntington North High School, starting at 10 p.m., and will follow the same format as regular July 4 shows, says Dan Fisher, who chairs the fireworks display for American Legion Post 7.
"We're a little down on donations, so it's only going to be a 24-minute show," Fisher says. "But it's going to be intense."
Last year, Fisher says, the display lasted 38 minutes.
Fireworks displays in Roanoke and Warren were also postponed because of the extremely dry conditions.
The Roanoke Town Council previously announced plans to set off fireworks there on Saturday, Sept. 9, as part of the Fall Festival.
The display in Warren has not been rescheduled, Warren Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison says.
Hurlburt points out that residents in the city of Huntington cannot set off fireworks at this time.
In accordance with a city ordinance, fireworks may be set off within city limits only between June 29 through July 9 each calendar year, and from 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Hurlburt also points out that open burning is, by ordinance, banned in the city.
"Basically, city residents may only have campfires," he says.
The open burning ordinance was passed in August of 2000, and restricts burning in the city with two exemptions - a recreational campfire with total fuel area no larger than 36 inches in diameter and fuel load not exceeding two feet, and a reasonably sized barbecue pit or grill, where either electricity, gas, wood or charcoal is used for preparation of food.
All other types of burning within the city remain unlawful.
Huntington County residents, however, are able to burn freely.
Hurlburt commends residents on their adherence to the burn ban and their use of common sense in making choices about burning.
Hurlburt says he hopes everyone continues in that mindset.