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updated: 6/28/2012 5:41 PM

Dry weather may quench St. Charles fireworks

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  • Teage Bockus, 5, of Elgin, immerses himself in a fountain at Otter Cove Splash Park in St. Charles as temperatures reached the high 90s around the suburbs Thursday afternoon.

       Teage Bockus, 5, of Elgin, immerses himself in a fountain at Otter Cove Splash Park in St. Charles as temperatures reached the high 90s around the suburbs Thursday afternoon.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Charron Davis uses an umbrella to shield herself from the hot sun Thursday as she walks near Peck Farm Park in Geneva. Davis said she lives in Chicago but stays in Geneva for the summer.

       Charron Davis uses an umbrella to shield herself from the hot sun Thursday as she walks near Peck Farm Park in Geneva. Davis said she lives in Chicago but stays in Geneva for the summer.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Jacob Benner of Batavia keeps a watchful eye Thursday on beachgoers at Batavia's Quarry Beach. This is Benner's second year as a lifeguard. He said of the heat that his first shift was "pretty rough" but all the lifeguards make sure to have enough water while working. "We're dealing with it pretty well," he said. "I wasn't expecting it to be that hot. I was cookin'!"

       Jacob Benner of Batavia keeps a watchful eye Thursday on beachgoers at Batavia's Quarry Beach. This is Benner's second year as a lifeguard. He said of the heat that his first shift was "pretty rough" but all the lifeguards make sure to have enough water while working. "We're dealing with it pretty well," he said. "I wasn't expecting it to be that hot. I was cookin'!"
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

St. Charles might not be the hub for fireworks next week like it usually is. Park district and fire officials are considering canceling the July 4 fireworks display because of the consistently dry conditions.

Superintendent of Parks and Planning Laura Rudow said even the rain forecast for Thursday and Friday nights might not be enough to save the show.

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"With as dry as everything is, getting an eighth of an inch really isn't going to do any good for next week," Rudow said. "It's just not going to reverse where we've been at lately."

Rudow said park district and fire officials will meet Monday morning to determine if there is too much of a safety hazard for the show to proceed. The fireworks are launched from Boy Scout Island, which is within 1,000 feet of many homes. There are also thousands of people who come to see the show. One of the possibilities would be for officials to cancel but then reschedule the show if the dry conditions abate.

"That's certainly a possibility," Rudow said. "At this point, we're not ruling anything out. But first and foremost we have to consider the public safety issues."

Say cheese: Heard around 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the weekly outdoor Geneva Green Market: "I'm not selling cheese, I'm selling fondue," quipped Beverly Hammond of Aurora, at her booth. She had a small bin of samples on the table, but the goods for sale were safely tucked away in an ice chest. That included a raw-milk Vermillion River Blue Cheese so yummy even people who don't like blue cheese were buying it.

Fire a concern: Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman said the heat and dry conditions could contribute to a fire risk, especially from illegal fireworks.

"Many residents complain the noise affects their quality of life as well as creating havoc for their pets and livestock. In light of the current drought we are experiencing, a spark from a firework can ignite dried grass and vegetation leading to brush fires," he pointed out.

Get the local temp: Who cares about the temperature at the lakefront and O'Hare and Midway airports? You can find government-reported temperatures at the Aurora Municipal Airport, updated hourly, on the website weather.gov/obhistory/KARR.html. It also shows you how much rain has not fallen in the past 72 hours. For the DuPage Airport, visit www.weather.gov/obhistory/KDPA.html.

Water the trees: St. Charles Public Services Division Manager Peter Suhr is reminding those who have new trees to water them.

The city puts Treegator bags on new parkway trees and fills them with water about once a month, June through September. It has accelerated the watering schedule. But it is asking homeowners to also fill the bags.

To water your own trees, or trees without a Treegator bag, coil a drip or soaker hose around the tree's drip line, and let the water run for 20 to 30 minutes.

• Daily Herald staff writer Harry Hitzeman contributed to this story.

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