WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With the Fourth of July just around the corner, Wichita County Commissioners have now placed Wichita County in a burn ban.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said this does not put a ban on fireworks, although they are illegal within city limits.

When it comes to going out to rural areas to pop fireworks with your family, Wichita Falls Fire Marshall Cody Melton wants to remind the public of the dangers behind the misuse of fireworks.

“Most of the state is in drought condition and once those fireworks are set off there, depending on where it is, it could really take off, and we’ve been battling some grass fires these last few weeks and really all of the spring and summer in the state of Texas. So it’s very important to be cautious of where you’re at and where you’re shooting those off,” Melton said.

Something Gossom agreed with.

“Well, the biggest danger is can you destroy someone else’s property, hurt people. You know you think of shooting off things that might come down and start a fire on the ground. The wind is there, dry and it burns towards somebody’s house in the middle of the night and they’re asleep, it’s too late then,” Gossom said.

And if you are going to be out shooting off fireworks there are ways to prevent a fire from getting out of control.

“I’m not saying don’t pop fireworks, just use all of the precautions. Just have something that suppresses any fire started, have the permission of a land owner, you’re not supposed to be doing it on rural roads or public property, anything like that. Just take care and be responsible,” Gossom said.

“Also soak any unused fireworks maybe if you tried to pop some and they didn’t go off, soak those in water and actually soak the used fireworks in water too just so there’s not any embers or anything like that and never let kids probably under the age of 13 pop fireworks,” Melton said.

Remember that many of the large fireworks retailers in the area have a designated area at their stores where you can legally and safely shoot fireworks for a fun Fourth of July.

Melton does want to remind the public that popping fireworks or possessing open fireworks within the city limits is illegal, and said if you want to avoid tickets or starting a fire, there are multiple free fireworks shows to take the family to.

For more information on those events click here.