by Char Petersen
With recent weather promising a warm, sunny 4th of July, camping, barbecues, picnics, and fireworks fun can only be expected.
This year however, because of our extremely dry winter, extra precautions should be taken to make this Independence Day a safe and memorable one.
With bright, flashing colors that draw the eye fireworks are always exciting, but before all the fun begins there are a few precautions that should taken.
“One of the most obvious thing to stay away from when setting off fireworks is fields. An area with a dirt lot and no flammable materials is ideal.” said Brad Medvin, from the Susanville Fire Department.
“Kids should also always be under the supervision of adults, and fireworks should be properly disposed of by soaking them in water after usage for a safe 4th of July.”
When buying fireworks, make sure that only State Fire Marshal-approved products are purchased at a licensed fireworks stand. For the safest results, read the directions before usage, and avoid experimenting and mixing different fireworks.
Few people enjoy catching on fire, so it is best to always keep a safe distance when fireworks are lit, make sure your clothes aren’t very baggy and never carry fireworks in your pockets.
It is also common courtesy to not light your friends on fire, so always avoid pointing or throwing fireworks at them.
Fireworks shouldn’t be lit anywhere but in city limits. It is extremely unsafe and illegal to light fireworks in the forest.
“After our abnormally dry winter, conditions are drying out quickly,” said Eric Ewing, a manager at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center. “We have a tall crop of grass in many areas, and that can feed a wildfire,” he said.
Ewing stressed that it is illegal to possess or use fireworks, including those sold at fireworks stands, in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.