there were 24 complaints about people lighting fireworks and violating the burn
ban yesterday.In the City of Fort Wayne, there were
144 complaints and about 6 verbal warning.
The fourth of
July just doesn't feel the same without fireworks; it is an Independence Day
tradition.But in AllenCounty
and surrounding counties thing like bon fires, camp fires and ignition of
fireworks have been banned indefinitely, likely to be lifted when the drought
conditions improve. Fort Wayne Police Department Spokesperson Raquel Foster
says "Trees catch on fire, grass catches on fire, spreads to homes to cars to
people and so that threat exists so that's something we have to do is
enforcement and make sure citizens comply with the ban."
By comply with
the ban, the Fort Wayne Police department mostly means educating the public
about the damage that can be done.After
nearly 150 fireworks complaints yesterday no arrests were made.They say it's hard to know exactly who is
doing the lighting.Foster says "They
can tell you the general vicinity of where those fireworks are being lit but
its very rare that they can actually identify who your perpetrator is, so that's
the biggest challenge."
In ElkhartCounty, residents on Westwood Drive could identify exactly who
was doing the fireworks.After the lawn
at 1213 Westwood Drive caught fire and spread to three neighboring lawns, residents
pointed the alleged fire-starters, 25-year-old Jay Zheng and 29 year-old Joe
Dorbin, out to police.The men are facing
misdemeanors for violation of an emergency order.
In Fort Wayne, no one was
arrested because they did not catch anyone red-handed.Foster says "It's the law, that the way the
law was written, it's a crime that has to be witnesses by a police officer
there's no budging on that."
In the ElkhartCounty fire, the grass fire was
extinguished quickly, no people were injured and there was no structural