Fire Chief: 'weather conditions not ideal for fireworks'

Fire Chief: 'weather conditions not ideal for fireworks'

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The Independence Day celebrations have started for some residents in the area. It is important to remember that fireworks cannot be fired in city limits.

Fireworks can only be fired on private properties out in the county, but with the current drought it is not going to be easy.  

West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith is preparing for a busy night Wednesday. Smith said a large majority of fires can be prevented by common sense.
"We're going to staff the station that night and anticipate a large number of runs," Smith said. 

Due to weather conditions, some area firefighters will likely still be fighting some flames.

"Everyone knows the conditions aren't right for burning," Smith said. "We've had high temperatures, low humidity, and even some fairly windy days, and right now our fields are tinder dry." 

If one does choose to partake in popping fireworks, it is important to be prepared. Have a bucket of water nearby, a cell phone, adult supervision and avoid popping near dry fields. Smith said it is also most important to use fireworks as directed, lay on the ground and get away. These precautions will ensure a safe Fourth of July.
Firefighters are not the only ones who are busy during the festivities. Last year at UMC, M.D. Desirae McKee said she worked around the clock treating patients with various injuries. 
"My partner and I took care of 10 fireworks explosion injuries, people lost fingers, people lost parts of their hand, people had their eardrums blown out, burns to their bodies, things that can never be brought back to normal," McKee said. 
It does not take a boom to cause an injury because something as simple as a firework could send someone to the ER. McKee said they can burn over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and there are 1,300 sparkler injuries every year. She cautions do not go after a firework that appears to be a dud. 

"The thing I heard last year, over and over, 'I thought it was a dud'," McKee said. "The best recommendation if it was a dud is to let it sit for 20 minutes, and once you retrieve it, put it in water or a bucket of sand." 

To avoid any injures, Smith said one should attend a professional firework show. 

"The firefighters of Lubbock county are predominately volunteer," Smith said. "We'd love to spend our Fourth of July, at home with our families, instead of coming out to put out a fire. So if you could help us by keeping those fires eliminated." 

Firework shows are being put on at Fourth on Broadway and Buffalo Springs Lake.

If you are caught with fireworks within the city limits it is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $1,000. If there is a fire or injury call 911. To report any activity, Lubbock Police ask to call the non-emergency number at (806) 755-2865.

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