Fireworks can be hot, dangerous in dry grass

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Emergency rooms across the United States will see an average total of about 250 people per day with firework injuries. A sparkler can be as hot at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.

"You could weld some metals with it. It's that hot," Wichita Falls Fire Marshal, David Collins said.

This mixed with high winds, hot summer nights, and dry grass can be extremely dangerous.

"Designate an adult individual to be in charge of discharging those fireworks. Have a water source available in case of emergencies. Know your surroundings more than anything," Collins said.

Rainfall totals for June in Wichita Falls are 1.5 inches below normal and just under 3 inches below for the year.

"Well it has it's upsides it certainly creates a lot more moisture, but when the winds are like they are today it doesn't take long to dry it out and things will burn just as easy," Collins said.

The latest drought monitor keeps many Texoma counties in the clear, except Hardeman, Foard, and Knox counties and areas further west.

"A danger still presents itself," Collins said. "We're just not in as dire situation as we were several years ago with the drought.

According to a map from the Texas A&M Forest Service, the only counties under burn bans were Baylor, Childress, and Throckmorton.

Throckmorton was flooded with rain this month and the burn ban is off. Baylor County adopted its latest burn ban on June 12.

Outdoor burning is prohibited unless it's authorized by the Texas Commissions on Environmental Quality.

When it comes to fireworks you can't sell, buy or ignite skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins.

"When you look at the number of days we go without rain, the heat from the sun and the winds, it dries things out pretty quickly," Collins said.

As always fireworks of all kinds are still illegal in the city limits of Wichita Falls.

"There's so many homes that are so close together and the exposure issues are very very critical," Collins said.

"Anything that possesses .25 grams of powder is illegal to discharge inside the city limits," Collins said.

He says the grass may be green, but it's a lot drier than it actually looks. Windy conditions can make a spark spread very quickly.

Collins emphasizes it is important to know your surroundings. When using fireworks it's going to always be better to use them on things like gravel, dirt or even concrete, and stay away from buildings.

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