NIXA, Mo. -- Debris left behind by last week's big thunderstorm could be a major fire hazard come July 4th, so the City of Nixa is being proactive.
Crews are out this week picking up piles of tree limbs and brush in yards. Residential streets across Nixa are lined with debris.
City crews are going from one side of the city to the other, but they predict it will take weeks to pick up everything left behind.
"We are not going to have it done by July 4th," says Jill Finney, city spokesperson. "So we are asking residents, if they still have piles in the yard if they choose to shoot off fireworks on the fourth of july that they use extra caution around those piles."
Residents are encouraged to haul their debris to the Nixa Recycle Center (1093 Eaglecrest) if they are able to themselves. The Recycle Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. However, the Recycle Center will be closed July 4-5, but will reopen Saturday, July 6.
Those residents that still have debris in their yards on July 4 are encouraged to use extreme caution if/when they discharge fireworks on July 4. The discharge of fireworks is legal inside the city limits of Nixa between 2 and 11 p.m. on July 4 only.
"Fireworks are not unlike many other consumer goods, when used responsibly and safely they are perfectly safe, fun and festive," says Nixa Fire Protection District Chief Jon Trent. "However, we urge an extra measure of caution in our area with the additional fuel load of downed limbs and trees."
The city of Nixa and the Nixa Fire Protection District urge residents review the list of fireworks precautions that follows:
- Be aware of your surroundings, only discharge fireworks where embers or the fireworks themselves will not come into contact with flammables
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix; have a "designated lighter."
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Soak used fireworks and used sparklers in water.
- Never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. Closely supervise children and teens around fireworks.
- Have spectators stand to one side of the display, keeping a safe distance from the person doing the lighting.
- Light one firework at a time on a smooth, flat surface away from materials that burn. Wear safety glasses and move away quickly after lighting each one.
- Never try to re-light or pick up a "dud" - a firework that has not fully functioned.
- Never point or throw a firework at another person, hold a lit firework in your hand, or light fireworks in glass, metal or plastic containers.
- Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event; some may still be burning and can explode at any time.
- Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed during fireworks celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.