WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand and hand, but obviously so do fireworks and fires, something that can get out of hand quickly if not careful.
“Our busiest time of the year, it seems like it puts a whole new mindset on people,” Lake Arrowhead Fire Chief Mike Hall said.
Hall said the average calls on a busy night is one to two calls, but on the Fourth, they usually get somewhere around 30-40 calls.
So, Hall is preparing for everything.
“Plan for the worst and hope for the best, that’s what I do,” Hall said. “I hope they just don’t overdo what I’m capable of doing.”
Both Hall and Lakeside City fire chief Lonnie Hare anticipate bigger crowds celebrating the Fourth of July weekend after being cooped up during the pandemic.
So, safety is important now more than ever, like always having water around and making sure you’re in a designated fireworks area.
“Whenever they do come, shoot, you could keep a bucket of water or something,” Hall said.
“Go to a designated area or a friend’s house or a family member’s property where it is permitted and yeah have a bucket of water handy, or water house handy just in case,” Hare said.
Having a plan when responding to fires on the Fourth is key for those at Lake Arrowhead, no matter what they encounter once there.
“We have some sort of idea of how we’re going to get in, going to get out because a lot of times you’ll get going in and they’ll shoot firecrackers at us, so we always try to have an exit strategy,” Hall said.
Chief Hare said it’s not unusual to be going from call to call until two or three in the morning, but they saw a huge decrease last year and hope the importance of fire safety is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
“I think everybody is being a lot more cautious and they’re more aware of the fact that could, you know, ruin somebody or destroy somebody’s property,” Hare said.
While the fireworks light up the sky on the Fourth, these two fire departments will be on call making sure everything goes smoothly.
And another friendly reminder that hand sanitizer is highly flammable, so, folks should use extreme caution when dealing with fireworks after applying sanitizer.