- Associated Press - Friday, July 4, 2014

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Fourth of July revelers are being cautioned against celebrating the holiday by shooting off fireworks inside the state’s national forests.

Officials say discharging fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices on the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests is illegal.

Ouachita National Forest Supervisor Norm Wagoner says many communities near national forests host celebrations that offer chances for families to view fireworks shows.

Officials say violating the fireworks ban is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for up to six months - or both.

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