Newschannel 6 is asking tough questions of City Leaders in Wichita Falls. Despite the extreme fire danger, plans continue for the 44th In The Falls fireworks display. "There had been some thought given to canceling it, but due to it being a professional display and the Fire Department being on-hand, it was deemed safe," said Mayor Glen Barham.
Still, many Newschannel 6 facebook Friends are concerned about the display and the danger they feel it could pose to Texoma. We ask how they felt about fireworks displays and if cities should be allowed to hold them in the severe fire conditions. Starla McCormack Rogers wrote "NOOOOOOOO!(sic) I watched my best friend's house burn just last month during all the fires. Our firemen are exhausted. Let's just look forward with hope to next year's fireworks display and tread with caution this year." Others agreed.
Newschannel 6 wanted to know what the Fire Department is going to do to make sure the City is safe on the 44th. Fire Chief Earl Foster says there are a number of precautions being taken. "For the public display at the MPEC, we're going to have staff down there not only medical for the crowd but also for the fireworks display to make sure nothing happens there," he said.
Fire crews will be on patrol around the City, along with Police Officers, to help quell fireworks violators. Those caught in violation could face up to a $2000 fine.
As for the safety of the 44th In The Falls Display, Foster said the show is in good hands. "Its a safe display, its a professional putting the display on, so we don't anticipate any problems there," He said there is a difference between the types of fireworks that can be purchased from a stand and those used in the display. "The fireworks are different. The aerial devices you can buy at the fireworks stands they have fins on them you shoot them up, they blow up and then the device comes back to Earth - usually hot. For a professional display, they just shoot off the actual charge. The device its self stays on the trailer, so they are just shooting the charge into the air," said Foster.
It is all to prevent a repeat of the Firestorm Across Texoma. "We saw on April 15 how one little spark can turn into a big deal and we don't want that to happen again," he said.