Fire Marshal Warns Dry Conditions and Fireworks Could be a Deadly Mix - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/28/05

Fire Marshal Warns Dry Conditions and Fireworks Could be a Deadly Mix

More than 70 fires have broken out across the state and Lubbock officials warn it could happen here if you're not careful. The brush on the side of the road is so dry that it could take something as small as a lit cigarette to start a major wildfire. And with people lighting fireworks for New Year's, the Lubbock Fire Department is asking everyone to use extra precautions.

While fireworks look pretty in the sky, Lubbock's dry conditions could mean a pretty dangerous celebration. "We still have a lot of dry weeds, dry grass just sitting there waiting for a spark." Lubbock Fire Marshal, Garett Nelson says the lack of rain has left brush along the roads and all over the county extremely dry. Combine that with any type of heat, and it's a recipe for disaster. "People do silly things that aren't common sense like having lit cigarettes and flick them out a window and not worry about where it lands. And fireworks. Sometimes it's just not best to do those things and it's certainly one of those years."

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"As long as people use common sense and don't light them in the middle of a dry field I don't think it'll be much of a problem." Ian Harper from Discount City fireworks has been lighting fireworks since he was 5-years-old. He says with every sale they give a lesson on firework safety. "Light them in a lit area, light on a flat base, and avoid areas with dry grass."

But Lubbock fire fighters says this year, no fireworks are safe, and they ask for everyone's cooperation to keep out the sparks. "We ask that people be aware of any hot object, it could be the thing that burns down someone's house."

Fireworks are illegal in the city. If you're caught with them it's a Class C Misdemeanor. You will get a ticket, and then have to go to court to pay a fine. Also, police say they are on the look-out for people flicking cigarettes. If you're caught you will get a ticket for littering.

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