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As we approach the July 4 holiday, the National Park Service reminds the public that fireworks of any kind are prohibited in all areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
This includes West Beach, the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, and all areas of the shoreline east from the Bailly Generating Station to Crescent Dune as well as west from Burns Waterway to Lake/Porter County Line Road. Included in these areas are Kemil, Lakeview, Dunbar, Porter, and Central Avenue areas in Porter County, the Mt. Baldy area in LaPorte County, and West Beach in Lake County. Other national lakeshore sites including the Tremont picnic area, Li-co-ki-we Trail, Chellberg Farm, and Dunewood Campground are also closed to fireworks.
Prohibited are all fireworks including sparklers, fountains, and firecrackers. Both individuals and organized groups are included in this prohibition. The use of firearms is also prohibited in all areas of the national lakeshore. Violators are subject to fine or arrest.
Park superintendent Constantine Dillon explained that "fireworks are prohibited in all national parks and there is no exception for parks in states where fireworks are otherwise legal." "There are many areas where fireworks are allowed in Indiana," Dillon said, "but they are not appropriate in a national park. Fireworks in parks injure or kill wildlife, interfere with public use, and cause fires," Dillon explained.
Park Rangers and National Park Service fire crews will be on patrol throughout the holiday period to watch for illegal fireworks use and to assure public safety. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has, on average, more than 20 wildfires a year and protecting parklands and adjacent homes and businesses from fire requires extra vigilance in the summer months.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 392 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU. For more information on holiday weekend activities at the national lakeshore, please call 219-926-7561, and press 3 at the prompt.