Opportunities for fireworks should be kept to minimum.
Fireworks were extinguished last year for all local residents due to extreme drought conditions.
This year, officials have moved toward ways to make fireworks more readily available to consumers interested in their own Fourth of July fireworks celebrations.
The Finney County Commission recently voted to allow the sale of aerial fireworks within county limits on a trial basis this summer. The change would reflect looser state regulations that allow the sale and discharge of fireworks, aerials included, from June 27 to July 5.
The county commission made its decision after hearing from a local fireworks vendor frustrated by the current policy.
As a result, the Garden City Commission likely will move to allow the use of aerial fireworks in the city, if for no other reason than to arrive at some uniformity in giving residents the opportunity to use whatever fireworks the county allows vendors to sell.
For now, though, that's as far as loosening of local fireworks-related restrictions should go — especially when it comes to days the fireworks may be launched.
The city currently has a more stringent policy on fireworks discharge than the state, limiting them from July 3 to 5 — more than enough time to have a home-based celebration.
Finney County doesn't allow the discharge of fireworks, and for good reason. Considering how dry it is, one errant spark could start a dangerous grass fire.
The county should stick to that policy.
That said, we know some residents of the city and county still launch fireworks when and where they please, regardless of restrictions. But even though violations occur, the policies still serve as a deterrent for others who do abide by rules in place to encourage safety with an activity that always poses a threat of injuries and fires.
Fireworks at all hours also annoy people trying to sleep — even in the county — and send frightened pets scurrying from their homes. And every time emergency responders are called because of a fireworks-related problem, there's a cost.
While the policy on fireworks use works in the city, there's no reason to encourage those displays in rural parts of the county.