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Firefighters discourage use of fireworks

LAWRENCEVILLE - While graduation is a time to celebrate, firefighters are asking celebrators to keep the post-commencement fanfare free of fireworks.

Because of dry conditions, sparklers and other devices that emit a shower of sparks - the only kind of fireworks that are legal in Georgia - present a potential fire hazard, said Lt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

On Tuesday, Gwinnett was one of several counties under a red flag warning, which means low moisture levels and dry vegetation create dangerous conditions ripe for fire, according to the National Weather Service.

"If you're going to use sparklers, use extreme caution," Rutledge said. "Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer ... (and) make sure the device is out before you leave the area."

- From staff reports