Fire Awareness on the 4th of July

by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com 


 

While most people will be having fun this weekend, the fire department will be holding its breath. 

More fires are reported on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. 

Fireworks are more dangerous than some may think. A standard sparkler, for example, burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit; more than twice the temperature that wood burns at. Each Fourth of July, thousands of people, mostly children and teenagers, are injured using consumer fireworks. "Over 3,400 injuries were reported last year to children under the age of 15 alone," said Justin Smith of the Casper Fire Department.  

Fireworks are illegal to possess and use in Natrona County.  

Fireworks aside, other factors help to cause fires, both wild and domestic. Given the wet spring that has hit Natrona county, grass will be growing at a pretty constant rate. Grass alone is the number one carrier of wildfires. The taller the grass, the more fuel for fire.  

However, measures can be taken to prevent the danger that fires pose, and it can be as simple as mowing your lawn. "Maintain a good, defensible space around your house," said Natrona County Fire Inspector Dave Baker. "Make sure that there is a good 30-foot area around your home that is well taken care of." The shorter the grass, the better. Woodpiles should be placed away from homes, and burnable materials should not be stored beneath homes. 

"You can't take fire for granted," said Smith. "Fireworks, campfires, propane grills, charcoal grills...these are all sources of fires that can be deadly." He says not to place things too close to the heat source and never, under any circumstances, start a fire with gasoline. 

The most important piece of advice, according to Smith: "Use common sense." 

For more information, visit www.firewisewyoming.com