Fireworks Illegal in All Polk County Conservation-Operated Parks

POLK COUNTY, Iowa  --  Polk County Conservation operates 22 public parks across the metro area. In all of them, the decision has already been made: fireworks are illegal.

"I guess people probably should be able to shoot fireworks off here, but as long as they're not a complete idiot. They have to know safety precautions, they have to warn people around them, but yeah I think it would be cool to set off a fireworks show," said Eric Niday.

But other residents say setting off fireworks in the area could be dangerous.

"Actually just buying it and coming here, I think it's a huge risk. I think we should probably be able to contain that to either just professionals handling it or, I mean, maybe heighten some of the restrictions," said Zac McKeever.

Polk County Conservation agrees.

"We promote and emphasize the use of the natural world as a respite, and we believe fireworks doesn't provide that environment," said Doug Romig.

Anyone caught setting off fireworks in a park managed by PCC could be hit with misdemeanor charges. The number one goal in banning the use of fireworks in the parks is to prevent fires.

"If you get a grassland fire and you get a heavy wind, that could spread so fast and go out of control, and in an urban environment then you're talking about spreading into structures that could potentially impact the local houses near the park system," said Romig.

According to the state, the simple misdemeanor charges for using fireworks in one of the parks could be accompanied by fines of up to $600 or 30 days in jail.

"Yeah, it depends on the damage. If there is damage, if there's prohibited destructive acts, you could have, if the fireworks started a fire and there was damage, then the fines and the charges could be more severe based on the cost of the damage that was incurred."