Heat, dry weather prompt fireworks warning from local firefighters

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by Tiffany Tarpley

Area fire departments are urging people to use extra caution during dry weather conditions.

With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching some people will be using fireworks at home and there's an added danger because Southeast Wisconsin has seen little rainfall lately.

"When you consider wind conditions that change and are very dry and warm, that can just increase the intensity and spread of a fire," explained North Shore Fire Captain Toby Carlson.

Firefighters suggest leaving the fireworks to the professionals to avoid getting hurt and any issues with sparks igniting dry grass, or brush.

"Fireworks are illegal [in Milwaukee] we don't expect people to be using fireworks," said Milwaukee Fire Deputy Chief Jack Christianson. "We don't want to lose property or people because of carelessness."

Even the professional displays will have to take extra steps to ensure a safe show. Because of the dry conditions, Wednesday night during the 'The Big Bang' fireworks display to kick off Summerfest the Milwaukee Fire Department will have an engine and crew on the grounds just in case.

Firefighters suggest local communities with their own fireworks events prepare each day leading up to the big event.

"Water the fireworks display area all the fallout areas," said Carlson. "As we know fireworks that go up you don't always know where they come down."

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