Firefighters show how fast fireworks can cause fire in dry weath - KPTV - FOX 12

Firefighters show how fast fireworks can cause fire in dry weather

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Fox 12 teamed up with the Forest Grove Fire Department Wednesday to see how quickly fireworks can turn into brush fires in this usually hot, dry weather.

We tested three kinds of fireworks in three settings: dry grass, mixed grass and concrete.

As you may imagine, it didn’t take long for fires to spark up.

“Like we’ve shown tonight, those little fireworks – it only takes a second and we’re talking about a fire that can grow to 10 feet by 10 feet, and then into the 100 feet by 100 feet [range],” said Ted Penge with Forest Grove Fire.

He said conditions right now are like what we’d usually see at the end of August or early September.

While dry grass is obviously a huge concern this 4th of July, so is bark dust.  Penge said fire can actually travel under the surface and spread out like fingers.  In the last two days, two house fires have been started that way in Forest Grove.

To safely light fireworks, Penge recommended choosing a flat surface away from combustibles, like the street or your driveway.  Spray down the surface with water as an extra precaution, and have a hose nearby.  To safely dispose of your fireworks, put them in a metal bucket filled with water.

While you may not light moving fireworks near combustibles like dry grass, you’d be surprised at how many people do.

“In my experience, less than 5 percent of people follow the rules,” Penge added.

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