During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, firefighters are warning people about the danger of fires sparked by fireworks due to drought conditions in southeast Texas.
A three-acre grass fire erupted during a fireworks show near Second Baptist Church’s Cypress campus Friday night, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.
According to a post on the church’s Facebook page, the show was scheduled to start at 9 p.m.
By 9:15 p.m., firefighters were working to put out grass fires in the field next to the church.
The HCFMO said firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly because firefighters were on standby, which is standard procedure for professional fireworks shows in Harris County.
“Our office inspects and permits all of these shoots. The fireworks display is licensed through the state of Texas,” according to Lt. James Singleton with the HCFMO.
People watching the show said the fire spread on the ground as fireworks continued to go off in the sky.
“Small bits of fire started, and then it just progressively got bigger and bigger. The wind spread more embers across the dry patch of land,” said Clayton Siems, 15.
Authorities urge people to watch professional firework shows this Independence Day weekend so firefighters can respond quickly due to drought conditions.
“It is a very dangerous time. The fuel, the grass, is very dry and ready to ignite. Due to state law, we are unable to ban fireworks. There are deadlines that have to be met, and it was not dry enough at the time (for those deadlines),” said Singleton.
Officials caution that if you set off fireworks at home, to not drink alcohol, keep fireworks away from children, and keep them outside your home in a fire-safe container after they are used.