COLLEGE STATION —As Texans make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, Texas A&M Forest Service encourages everyone to be careful with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark.
Excessive heat over the past two weeks has resulted in grasses drying across portions of North, Central and Southern regions of Texas. Areas with dry grass may support wildfire activity due to accidental ignitions from fireworks or other activities that cause a spark.
Conditions will improve Sunday through early next week, with temperatures falling below 100°F and increased chances for rainfall. Lower temperatures and opportunities for rain will keep the potential for wildfire ignitions low statewide through the July 4th holiday.
Though wildfire activity potential will be lower across the state next week, Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire officials are advising members of the public to be cautious with outdoor activities.
“On average, 128 wildfires ignite each year on July 4 in Texas. Fireworks have the potential to ignite wildfires and have done so in past years,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “We encourage all Texans to be cautious while you celebrate with your family and friends. Do your part to prevent wildfires and be safe this holiday.”
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show hosted by professionals. If you plan to set off your own fireworks, please follow these safety tips:
- Before you celebrate, always check and comply with local government officials for any burn bans or other restrictions.
- Read and follow all warnings and instruction labels on fireworks.
- Use fireworks only under close adult supervision and in safe areas away from structures, dry grass and brush.
- Keep a hose, bucket of water and wet towels nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal.
To help prevent wildfires during hot and dry conditions:
- Avoid parking and idling in tall, dry grass. Catalytic converters can get hot enough to ignite the grass under a vehicle.
- Ensure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle — they throw sparks.
- Avoid placing your grill near flammable vegetation or materials, never leave your grill unattended, and ensure coals are completely extinguished when you are done.
Note: Burn bans and fireworks restrictions are determined by county government. Texas A&M Forest Service does not determine, set or lift these restrictions.