Firefighters stress 4th of July safety amid dry conditions

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As folks get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, firefighters want to stress the importance of safety as much of the state is in extreme drought conditions.

Many folks plan to attend public displays like the one at "A" mountain; however, others are planning their own display at home.

The Tucson Fire Department says the lack of rain and high temperatures have turned the vegetation into potential fuel. Battalion Chief Barret Baker says adding a spark from a sparkler could mean trouble.

That why he suggests lighting fireworks on an open sidewalk or street, away from the dry vegetation.

The increased danger also means children should not handle fireworks by themselves.

Baker says the key to staying safe is planning ahead.

"From a firefighting stand point, some of the things that you can do plan for the worst. If you're at your house and you're gonna use some of those sparklers or the smoke bombs, get your hose ready that way if something does malfunction then you're there quickly to douse it," he said.

He adds using common sense.

"One of the other things, afterward. You don't want to use fireworks that have been a thousand degrees and then just go throw them in a garbage can right. So, douse them in a bucket of water beforehand that way you don't put them in a plastic garbage container which then can catch fire and melt and catch your house on fire potentially. Those are all things we've seen, and a little bit of safety beforehand can make sure that that doesn't happen."

To really avoid all of this, firefighters suggest leaving the fireworks to the professionals and going to a public display like the one at "A" Mountain.

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