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Ahead of Fourth of July, fire officials issue warning about fireworks

fireworks july 4th AP
Posted at 5:57 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 11:00:06-04

PHOENIX — Every Fourth of July, the Phoenix Fire Department says they respond to numerous calls about people either getting hurt by fireworks or fires sparking because of them.

Because of the dry weather Arizona is experiencing, along with numerous brush fires, the department is asking you don't use fireworks this year.

At their training academy Wednesday, they showed visual representations of what can happen if fireworks are used incorrectly.

Phoenix Fire Captain Kenny Overton explained some of the common mistakes.

"Using fireworks in areas where there is a lot of vegetation or fuel around," he said. "Pointing fireworks at other people, letting children use fireworks, letting children use fireworks unattended. Multiple injuries happen to children because of the use of fireworks. So we want to recommend you don't use it this year. Leave the fireworks to the professionals in all cases."

In wake of COVID-19 and wildfires across the state, numerous Valley cities are also canceling their firework shows. One of the cities canceling is the city of Tempe, which has held a Fourth of July celebration at Tempe Town Lake for the past 68 years.

To keep the celebration alive, Kiwanis Club volunteers are passing out sparklers and a small American flag to residents. At 9 p.m. on July 4th, residents are being asked to step outside their homes and light their sparklers as a show of unity. The city says safety instructions for the sparklers will be provided.

Tempe group making sure residents can still celebrate July 4th