Fireworks illegal to have, set off on New Year's Eve

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) If you are headed out to a New Year's Eve celebration, officials are reminding you not to set off fireworks.

There is both a state law and a city ordinance, which both say you cannot sell or set off fireworks during this time of the year.

The only time they are legal to set off here is during the 10 days surrounding the 4th of July, from June 27 to July 5.

If you are caught with fireworks while celebrating the New Year, you could be fined up to $2,500 or receive a year in jail.

Fire officials say the heavy winds we've been feeling across the state could also increase the risk that fireworks could spark grass fires, and that's not the only danger they say they deal with over New Year's.

"Please be cautious in their celebration," said Stuart Bevis, a Battalion Chief with the Wichita Fire Department. "Avoid the use of illegal fireworks and also mention the fact that unfortunately, each year we have an incident where people shoot off firearms in the air to celebrate. Obviously, that is illegal and it is extremely dangerous. What comes up must come down and those bullets do come down and they can injure or kill people."

Fire officials say they have already had several complaints and they expect a high volume of calls over the holiday weekend.

To help with that influx of calls, Sedgwick County has opened up a special hotline, which will allow you to report noise complaints in your neighborhood without tying up 911 dispatchers.

That hotline number is 316-290-1011. The line will open on New Year's Eve at 6 p.m. and stay open until 3 a.m. New Year's Day.