Fire officials warn about fireworks in drought-like conditions

Firefighters battle heat and brush fires during the extremely dry conditions.
Firefighters battle heat and brush fires during the extremely dry conditions.

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - It has been a busy week for firefighters: two house fires in Madison County, a business fire, and several brush fires.

Firefighters are bracing for even more fires Wednesday.

They are exhausted from days of triple digit heat and fighting fires.

With grass dying and fields turning brown, they worry this is just the start of a busy summer.

"The volunteer firefighters in this area do a real good job, but at this point they are running out of gas. They are hot, got dehydrated. They are trying keep hydrated so they can go to the next fire," said Madison County Fire Marshal Bobby Rollins.

Monday afternoon a home on Horse Pin Place Way in Harvest went up in flames. Fire investigators said it was accidental.

"According to the juvenile that was in the house, he said the first fire he saw was in the garage area, which is where the propane tanks were located," said Rollins.

Then around 1:30 Tuesday morning, Huntsville Firefighters battled a massive house fire at 2416 Autumn Ridge Drive in Southwest Huntsville.

A few hours later, a fire broke out at Firehouse Antiques on South Parkway. Investigators said this fire is likely electrical.

To add fuel to an already burning problem, Rollins said he's concerned about mixing fireworks with near drought conditions.

"Right now, the State Fire Marshal is the only one who can ban the use of fireworks. Right now, his statement to me is people need to use common sense," said Rollins.

Wet the area before you shoot off fireworks. If you live where there are water restrictions keep a bucket of water nearby.

Rollins said with extreme dry conditions, anything can spark a fire.

"You know it's hot out here. Have your protection, your fire extinguishers ready and charged. Have a gallon or 5-gallon bucket of water prepared to use in case there is a fire," he said.

The Fire Marshal's Office encourages everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals this year. He said that will lessen the chances for house or brush fires.

Rollins also warns against throwing out cigarette butts. He said a spark gone unnoticed can lead to wildfires burning out of control.

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