MARYSVILLE -- Setting off fireworks can be a fun way to celebrate Independence Day, but it can easily take a dangerous turn.
More than 9,000 people were hospitalized for firework-related injuries last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Five people died.
That’s why Marysville Fire Chief Ron Karlen is warning people this time of year to always choose safety first.
“Anytime fireworks are happening, we’re on edge,” Karlen said. “Because how close is it going to be to setting something on fire?”
On Tuesday in Marysville, crews responded to a vegetation fire sparked by fireworks. The blaze spread across two acres, fueled by dry grass, shrubs and brush.
“Witnesses nearby said that there was a person who walked through the area that had fireworks and lit them, threw them into the grass and then the grass caught on fire,” Karlen said.
Firefighters were able to put out the flames before they caused any damage but Karlen says just responding to fireworks-related calls stretches resources thin.
“We’re a one-engine staff department, so anytime we get these nuisance type fires and commit resources to that, that means we can’t go to the next call,” he told FOX40.
Karlen says fireworks-related incidents should serve as an important reminder to always stay fire wise and to never light them near people, structures or dry vegetation
“We want you to enjoy the Fourth tomorrow but be safe and have no injuries or fires associated with the celebration of the holiday," Karlen said.