Editorial: Be careful around fireworks

Nineteen firefighters lost their lives fighting a wildfire Sunday in Arizona.

We need to do everything we can to ensure such a tragedy does not occur here in Michigan. With dry conditions across most of the state, Department of Natural Resources officials are urging us to use caution when using fire outside today, especially with fireworks.

Over the past five years 91 percent of all fires associated with fireworks occurred in grass or brush. Thus, DNR officials caution, it is imperative residents who choose to use fireworks, do so responsibly.

Something as simple as a sparkler can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt gold. And, sparklers remain hot even after the spark is gone.

If using fireworks, make sure water is readily available. The same is true for campfires. In both cases, when finished, douse the fireworks or campfire with water.

“Fireworks and campfires are a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July, but you’ll enjoy the holidays much more knowing that your family and your property are safe,” DNR Fire Prevention Specialist Ada Takacs said.