Firework fiasco rings in the New Year

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Beulah Fire Department was dispatched to a brush fire started by fireworks on New Year’s Day. A passerby called in after seeing a small brush fire on the 6800 block of Lee Road 158.

Beulah FD responded with two personnel, Firefighters Bryce Morse and Robert Busack. They arrived to find approximately one acre of dry grass on fire. Busack said that most of the ankle-high debris had been burnt up by the time they arrived. The firefighters were able to wet the neighboring residential property before extinguishing the hotspots.

There were no injuries reported. According to Captain Cody Hope, residents were shooting off fireworks on their property. After finishing, it appears they left the area and debris caught on fire.

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“Possibly when they lit it on the ground it sparked from the fuse. It just kind of got on the ground and some dry grass and then the wind was blowing yesterday … and carried it in the direction the wind was blowing,” Hope said. 

The residents were unaware of the fire. Hope said it is good practice to make sure everything is out. The local Forestry Department recommends people wait 30 to 40 minutes after shooting off fireworks or doing outside burns, to make sure no fires pop up.  

Hope said Beulah doesn’t often get firework-related calls during the New Year. It is more common around the Fourth of July during drier periods of the year. However, the wind can still catch an ember or spark from a firework, he said.

With fireworks or burning anything with the wind blowing, it is not a very good combination,” Hope said.

Busack explained that a brush fire is more controllable than something like a wildfire because involves ground debris, like grass, shrubs, or fallen leaves. He adds that an acre is not a large brush fire, relatively. The two firefighters returned to service after an hour on the scene.