MOORE COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - The Fourth of July is one of the busiest days for fire departments across the nation, and one area station is urging residents to take precautions after responding to several firework calls this weekend.
The Dumas Fire Department says fireworks caused the field to light up and weather was another factor which helped the flames grow.
"Due to the wind that was coming in, we had a lot of issues with smoke, with people not knowing what was going on and the fire spread very very rapidly," Fire Chief Ronald Pray said. "We had to be careful and protect those homes, and it took us a while to put that fire out because of the wind."
Pray says while crews battled that fire, another call came in of a second grass fire south of town he says at that point his department was stretched thin.
During one of the grass fires, a volunteer fire fighter suffered smoke inhalation while he was defending a home. The volunteer fire fighter was kept overnight in the E.R. and was released Sunday morning.
"We need to be very careful right now with fireworks. It is going to be a busy day tomorrow for us making sure the public is safe," Pray said. "We are going to have to be addressing any fires that occur, and its important that people are aware of their actions. Any damage they cause to property or people's homes, they can be held responsible for it if they're the ones who started the fire by their fireworks."
Right now, Moore County is not under a burn ban. However, Pray says although the county has received a good amount of rainfall, there is still plenty of dry grass in the area and urges residents to take extra precautions if they light fireworks.
He also asked residents to avoid improvised fireworks. Not only can they start grass fires, but they can also cause explosions and can be fatal.
"Don't make improvised fireworks. We find that over and over every year people will buy fireworks and make bigger fireworks with the consumer fireworks," Pray said. "In many cases they end up injuring themselves or their family members and there has even been cases where they blow up their homes because they are using consumer fireworks to make illegal fireworks."
Pray recommends citizens to store fireworks in a cool, dry space, only buy fireworks form reliable sellers and always read and follow directions.