WIREGRASS, Ala. (WDHN) — Independence Day. The Fourth of July. It’s a day that is synonymous with having grillouts, spending time with loved ones, and of course: fireworks.
But as many are having fun throughout the night, first responders and emergency management personnel are hard at work keeping communities safe.
One issue fireworks cause on the fourth is in the name itself: fires, especially when they are lit near dry grass. And as the Houston County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director told me, the recent rainfall might not be enough to stave off some fires.
“People that are out there doing fireworks and things like that do check the are there is some extreme dryness out there especially in some of the fields and drier grass are we have had a lot of rain, Houston County EMA Director Chris Judah. “But it’s been in isolated areas so there are places in the Wiregrass, especially Houston County, that have not had a lot of rain. There is some dryness out there, so they really do need to check for fires and be cautious.”
Starting grass and building fires are a concern, however, burns, damaged ear drums, and other other injuries from fireworks are also the cause for fire and medical attention. Here are a few tips from the Coffee County EMA director on how to avoid burning yourself and others.
“When you light it then get away from it don’t stand over it don’t hold things in your hands,” Coffee County EMA Director, James Brown said. “Like I said, have a water source near so where you’re doing the fireworks so that you can put it out should it catch fire.”
Officials say, of course, first responders will be ready in the event of an emergency but always keep safety in mind whenever lighting fireworks.
“Our police officers, our sheriff’s deputies in full force, our fire departments are fully staffed,” Judah said.” But we do ask that you use caution you know they’re out there and they want to go home to their families themselves, so please use common sense if you would and be careful out there.”