By Shereen Siewert

Everest Metro Police are among several Wausau-area agencies announcing “zero-tolerance” policies for fireworks ahead of the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend.

Barring extenuating circumstances, all officers will issue citations when called to reports of fireworks violations, according to a news release from Everest Metro Chief Clay Schulz.

Fireworks stores and stands often sell prohibited fireworks, Schulz said, which can mislead people into thinking bottle rockets or roman candles are legal to own and use.

But that isn’t the case. The general rule of thumb: If it flies or explodes, it’s illegal under state law.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice page on Fireworks Law information that references statutory regulations and permits, permits are not required to purchase or use sparklers not exceeding 36 inches in length, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼-grain of explosive mixture and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground.

Possessing or using any other fireworks, including, for example, firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, in Wisconsin without a valid permit is illegal, according to the DOJ.