Rangers urge caution with 4th fireworks

July 2, 2014

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Forest Service is reminding everyone to use fireworks responsibly during the Fourth of July holiday, especially, officials said, in areas that have not received rain in recent days.

The NCFS has noticed an increase in the number of woods fires resulting from careless use of the popular Fourth of July devices since the sale of Class C fireworks was legalized in the state over two years ago, officials said. Class C fireworks include wire sparklers, explosive caps for toy pistols, snake and glow worms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers and other sparkling devices.

Here are some simple ways to keep your holiday safe if yo plan to celebrate with fireworks.

• Do not use fireworks near woods or any combustible material.

• Make sure fireworks are always used with adult supervision

• Follow instructions

• Do not use under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

• Always use in large open, preferably paved, areas, or near bodies of water

• Have a rake or shovel as well as bucket or two of water on hand

• Monitor the area for several hours after use.

More and more homes are built in North Carolina’s wooded areas and forestry officials stress the need to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires in residential areas. In addition to using fireworks safely, camp fires or grills should never be left unattended, camp fires or charcoal grills should never be started with gasoline and ashes should never be disposed of in a paper bag, box or other flammable container.