WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The new year is often celebrated by setting off fireworks.

Wichita County would like to remind residents that “even though fireworks have not been banned for the 2022 New Year’s celebration, fireworks should be used with extreme caution.”

“Recent fires as close as Iowa Park, Electra, Petrolia have demonstrated how devastating some of these wildfires can be and it’s really all of our responsibility to do what we can to prevent them,” Wichita Falls Fire Chief Ken Prillaman said.

According to Wichita County Emergency Management Coordinator Lee Bourgoin, there are a lot of dry, cured fuels on the ground and in conjunction with the recent low humidity and high winds, these conditions provide perfect conditions for large wildfires that can grow quickly and endanger lives and property in an instant.

Many firework vendors have even closed their doors for the year.

“Anything that we can do to help and not contribute to the fire danger we want to definitely exercise that,” Ridinger Fireworks Owner Mark Steel said.

Steel consulted with his local fire department and he, as well as other retailers, based a decision on safety instead of monetary profit.

As a reminder, fireworks can only be used outside of any incorporated city limits, on private property and with the landowner’s consent. At no time can fireworks be set off from the public roadway.

A burn ban was made effective for Wichita County on December 14, 2021, and is still continuing after wildfires started in Electra and Iowa Park.