First responders, health experts share how to celebrate safely t - FOX34 Lubbock

First responders, health experts share how to celebrate safely this Independence Day

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

With 4th of July just a week away, celebrations are looking different this year because of the pandemic. 

Group gatherings in Texas were limited to less than 100 people earlier this week, but health experts still recommend following CDC guidelines. The same rules should still apply when traveling. If you think you've been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, it's best to avoid large gatherings. 

"If you feel sick, you should not go to family gatherings because you might be sick from covid. And you certainly, to your family and other people, don't want to put them at risk," Richard Lampe, M.D., said. 

Along with practicing health protocols, West Carlisle Fire Chief Tim Smith emphasizes the importance of firework safety.

Hot, dry and windy conditions are expected this year, increasing the risk of starting a fire. 

"A lot of farmers this year have planted wheat as a cover crop, so that stuff could take off in a hurry. And then you're just not burning grass, you're burning somebody's livelihood. So let's make sure that you do it in a safe manner and in a safe area," Chief Smith said. 

He also advises to have a bucket of water, fire extinguisher and your cellphone nearby in the case of an emergency. 

"I will caution with that, if a fire does break out don't try to fight it too long. Go ahead and active the 911 system, get us coming that way and if we have to turn around that's okay too," he said. 

Plus, first responders reminding you of the law ahead of the fourth.

"Inside the municipalities in Lubbock County -- like Lubbock, Shallowater, Idalou, Wolfforth -- the use and possession of fireworks inside those city limits is illegal," Smith said. 

Fireworks are only permitted outside of the county, anything within the city could leave you with a citation.

Buffalo Springs Lake will still hold its annual fireworks show on July 3. Wristbands must be purchases in person at the office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lubbock's 4th on Broadway Celebration has been moved to Labor Day Weekend. This is the 30th annual celebration. Organizers say it'll continue as planned with the parade down Broadway and the fireworks show at Mackenzie Park. 

The City of Wolfforth also postponed it's 4th on the 5th Celebration. City leaders are still working to decide on a later date.

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