MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s fireworks season, and the state fire marshal is urging people to leave lighting them up to the professionals.
In many areas of the Mid-South lighting fireworks is illegal, but in some places it’s not.
Some new roadside stands mark areas where selling, and, often times, setting off fireworks are legal. This time of year you can see a few roadside stands that aren't there year round.
Two fireworks stands have popped up in Crittenden County off I-40.
“[Customers are] looking for the big stuff, with the loudest bang,” said Luke Belew, American Fireworks employee.
Eastern Arkansas has become a sweet spot for fireworks vendors. It’s less than a mile from the Shelby County, Tennessee line where, in most areas, you can’t buy or set off fireworks. It’s also an easy drive from Northern Mississippi which sees some restrictions too.
Plus, places in between.
“People from Colorado, Minnesota. We had one from Wisconsin (visit here),” said Belew.
Just because you cross state lines to buy them does not mean you’re guaranteed to be able to set the fireworks off at home.
Setting them off is prohibited in Shelby County without a permit, and its municipalities, including Memphis. In DeSoto County, you can’t pop fireworks in Hernando, Olive Branch and Southaven.
You can in Horn Lake. You can also set fireworks off in unincorporated Crittenden County. You can do the same thing in the city limits of West Memphis from now until July 10. Marion also prohibits the use of fireworks.
The West Memphis Fire Department said this is an exciting time for people, and firefighters often go on several runs when fire or igniting something is involved. So, there are a few crucial steps firefighters want the public to take before any fireworks are set off.
“Always have adult supervision, and a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby,” said Lt. Patricia Roberts, West Memphis Fire.
The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office says be familiar with the firework before using it. They suggest wearing protective eye-wear as well.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to buy fireworks.