HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — As Americans begin to celebrate Independence Day, Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests officials are reminding residents, visitors and campers that fireworks on National Forest lands are prohibited.
“Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device on National Forest lands are prohibited,” said Ouachita National Forest Supervisor Norm Wagoner. “Using fireworks in the forest increases the possibility of fires which could put lives and property in danger.”
The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forest together total 3 million acres of land in Arkansas and Oklahoma, offering many opportunities for visitors to enjoy the holiday without fireworks.
“What better way to enjoy Independence Day than to take advantage of what this country offers by hiking the beautiful trails, camping in the serenity of nature and enjoying views that people travel from all over the world to see,” said Reggie Blackwell, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests Supervisor. “It is a great alternative to using fireworks.”
Violation of the fireworks policy is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
For additional information on opportunities on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, call 479-964-7200 or the Ouachita National Forest at 501-321-5202 or visit the web at www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita or www.fs.usda.gov/osfnf.
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