Wichita County releases guidance on fireworks, grilling amid burn ban
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - After Wichita County issued a burn ban on June 27, county officials are now providing guidance on how to safely and legally use fireworks.
County officials said the best advice they can offer is to leave it to the professionals and attend public displays, such as the Fourth in the Falls Freedom Fest.
Keep in mind that all incorporated communities within Wichita County, including Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Iowa Park, Electra and Sheppard AFB, prohibit the use of fireworks within city limits.
Firework usage anywhere outside city limits is limited to private property with the owner’s permission. Firing them from county roads or the easement along the roadways is prohibited and could result in fines.
County officials have provided the following guidance:
- Know your fireworks; read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting
- Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix; save your alcohol for after the show
- Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks
- Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors
- Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks
- Never relight a “dud” firework; wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can
- Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended
- Report fires immediately by calling 911
When it comes to grilling, county officials have provided advice on how to grill safely:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under the eaves and overhanging branches
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
- Never leave your grill unattended
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it
For charcoal grills:
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use; charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel
- If you use starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid; never add charcoal fluid or other flammable liquids to the fire
- Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources
- There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire; be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container
For propane grills:
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year
- If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or soapy bubble test, turn off gas tank and grill
- If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department
- If the flame goes out, turn the grill off and wait at least 15 minutes before relighting it
The Wichita County burn ban will remain in place for at least 90 days. Statewide burn bans can be found on the Texas A&M Forest Service’s map.
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