North Texas

Burn Bans Continue Across North Texas as Residents Celebrate Fourth of July

The dry conditions make the area susceptible to wildfires. Some county leaders have banned personal fireworks for the 4th of July Weekend in concern of starting brushfires.

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As we head into the evening of Independence Day, many families want to end the night with fireworks, but fire officials are urging people to leave it up to the professionals.

Much of North Texas is under a burn ban. Out of the 254 counties in the state, Texas A&M Forest Service says 182 currently have burn bans. That is impacting how many people celebrate this Fourth of July weekend.

In Navarro County, Judge H.M. Davenport said they issued a firework ban for the unincorporated area of the county.

"This is not something we wanted to do, of course, but it’s something we felt was absolutely necessary to protect the interest of the public and to save a whole bunch of people’s livelihood, should a fire happen," said Davenport.

He said the sale of bottle rockets or other fireworks with long sticks is restricted.

The Police Chief of Midlothian took to Facebook to express his disappointment with the number of people degrading the rules and potentially putting their neighbors in harm's way.

The City of DeSoto is also on alert after about 250 acres of grassland burned near homes at Keswick Court and Parkersville Road in the Wolf Creek Estates neighborhood.

 The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but neighbors are concerned as night falls on Independence Day.

"You get a knock on the door from a neighbor and come a tell you there's a big brush fire in the back of your house, you automatically jump into action grab the water hose," said Rodrick Tate, a neighbor whose home backed up to the fire.

He said the fence of his neighbor's home caught on fire, but fortunately, no homes were damaged.

"All of our neighbors are on edge right now," said Tate.

People are encouraged to go to city events where professional firework displays are taking place. For example, the City of Desoto has an event with live music, vendors and fireworks.

"There's always a concern, not so much for a controlled pyrotechnic show like we're giving in DeSoto, there's always concerns for those who chose to pop individual fireworks. It's illegal in the City of DeSoto, and when you do that, you put yourself at risk and you put the community at risk," said Brandon Freeman, the DeSoto Fire Marshal. "There's a burn ban in Dallas County, it's illegal in the city of DeSoto, with all the dryness going around, once a spark hits that grass, it just takes off."

For a list of Fourth of July events, click here.

"Go to the fireworks display, do not pop fireworks in the neighborhood," said Tate."

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