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Illegal fireworks problematic for Wisconsinites

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Wisconsinites generally don’t spend much money for the 4th of July – unless they’re caught with illegal fireworks.

In Milwaukee, all fireworks are illegal – even the sparklers, smoke bombs, and little ground displays that are allowed in many Wisconsin communities. Fines range up to $1,000.

Officials encourage folks to check their local laws before stocking up.

The state Justice Department says anything that explodes or leaves the ground requires a permit, and those without permits can face fines of up to $1,000. And that doesn’t include the cost of fires and injuries that result when things like firecrackers go awry.

The National Fire Protection Association says almost 18,000 blazes were started by fireworks in 2011.

In the same year, officials said almost 10,000 Americans were seen in hospital emergency rooms with fireworks injuries. Sparklers and small items accounted for about a-third of those injuries.