Town officials in Danville and Brownsburg have decided to cancel public fireworks displays associated with their July 4th festivals because of the extremely dry conditions and high temperatures. In Danville's case, their entire July 4th festival has been postponed.
"Our feeling is we don't want to take any chances," said Marcia Lynch, president of the Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and Danville Town Council.
The festival is conducted on the Danville Community High School football field, near the Clear Creek subdivision.
"The area where we set off the fireworks is all grass and trees," Lynch said. "We just don't want to take a chance under these conditions. We feel like if there's a burn ban, we need to take it seriously."
Hendricks County Commissioners approved an open-ended burn ban earlier this week. Campfires are still permitted, as long as they're within a fire ring. Bonfires and activities like burning brush are illegal for the time being. Engaging in such could result in fines worth hundreds of dollars.
Lynch says she and other town officials did consider that canceling the public fireworks display could result in more residents shooting off their own fireworks.
"That is a concern we have," she said. "Our hope is people will be as cautious as we're being."
Phillip Parnin, director of the Brownsburg Parks and Recreation Department, met with officials from the town's fire and police departments Thursday afternoon to determine whether they should cancel their planned fireworks show on July 4th. They announced the cancellation later that day.
"It's been drier than normal the past couple years, but this is the first time it started in May," Parnin said.
Brownsburg's fireworks are launched from the baseball diamonds at Arbuckle Acres park. The baseball diamonds are generally watered beforehand and officials determine the common areas outside that are currently unsafe for fireworks.