Fireworks ignite dozens of grass fires

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Area firefighters are blaming fireworks for the high number of grass fires last night. The constant work took a lot of manpower and resources. So tonight, they are reminding you to celebrate safely, and protect yourself and others' property.

As soon as the fireworks started popping, so did grass fires. Sherman and Denison fire departments had their hands full.

"We had around 15 grass fires that run from about, oh started about 8:30 till about 2:00 in the morning," Assistant Chief Bill Ray of the Denison Fire Department said.

"Most of these fires were small, but preventable," Chief Jeff Jones of the Sherman Fire Department said.

There were more than 30 grass fires related to fireworks in Denison and Sherman city limits, but even more county wide.

"I talked to the county Fire Marshall, and he reports that more than four dozen fires were reported over the last day and a half, and he believes the majority of those were also related to fireworks," said Jones.

Fire departments were well-staffed and expecting the calls. All of the fires were easily contained, but one in Denison continued burning throughout the day.

"We actually had 85 round bales of hay that caught on fire, and in fact, is still burning," Ray said.

If you are going to set off fireworks outside city limits, you are encouraged to be aware of the fire danger.

"We encourage anybody that does so, to do so safely and realize that although the grass may look green, there's a lot of dead vegetation below that. And the winds up, the humidity is down, which creates an increased fire danger for any open flame or spark created by those fireworks," Jones said.

"You want to have a hose, a garden hose with water run to it ready to go. Adult supervision, choose a platform to set your fireworks off on, and just be very mindful of them," Ray said.

According to Sergeant Bruce Dawsey with the Sherman police department, several citations were given out last night due to people popping fireworks in city limits.
Sherman police also confiscated a lot fireworks from residents.

Remember, the fine is $137 if you are caught with fireworks in city limits.

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