Fireworks stands open for business, fire crews on high alert - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Fireworks stands open for business, fire crews on high alert

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

While local firework stand owners are happy to start selling again with the burn ban lifted, county fire departments are on high alert with drought conditions continuing in Lubbock.

For the last six years Michelle Minyard has managed a TNT Fireworks stand on 82nd Street, and says this year was the worst she's seen for sales.

"The last stand I ran was last New Year's. A lot of people have been coming in saying it's about time," Minyard said.

Minyard opened up her firework stand on Thursday and says she will be selling each day until midnight trying to get as many sales as possible.

She said, "We haven't had very many customers, but they are just figuring out everyone is opening so it's doing pretty good."

While the burn ban was lifted just days before Christmas by County Judge Tom Head, dry conditions still continue in the South Plains area leaving many firefighters worried about this weekend's celebrations.

"Even though we've had moisture the grass is still dead," New Deal Fire Chief Randy Teeter said. "It will still burn regardless of how much moisture we've had."

Since the burn ban was put in place, at least two fire departments have been responding to each fire out in the county because of how quickly fires can spread.

The ban was lifted - but these precautions were not. Multiple fire crews will continue to be sent to fires until the dry conditions are gone.

Fire departments are asking people to use common sense this weekend if they choose to shoot fireworks. "You still need to be away from grassy areas. Shoot them somewhere like plowed areas, or anywhere away from grass that will burn," Teeter said.

He says it's also a good idea to keep a bucket of water, fire extinguisher or water hose nearby. And always be careful when handling fireworks.

"Every year we see burns. That's something we want to avoid this year," Teeter said.

There is still a ban on fireworks like missiles with fins or stick rockets. It is also illegal to shoot fireworks inside the city limits.

If a fire does break out, Teeter says to immediately call 911 before it gets out of hand.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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