Dry Grass, Leaves Pose Fire Threat for Homes - 8 News NOW

Dry Grass, Leaves Pose Fire Threat for Homes

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LAS VEGAS -- The dry conditions along with Fourth of July fireworks means danger.

With fireworks around, dry leaves and weeds are more than an eyesore. They can turn a few sparks into a full-fledged fire.

"You want to remove dead palms, they go up really really fast," said Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. He says any type of vegetation that is up against a home has the possibility of catching fire.

One area of concern in many neighborhoods are the foreclosed homes where the yards have been left to dry out.

"If some sparks were to fall down from an illegal firework and caught this on fire and it extends to this house here, it could damage my property," demonstrates Szymanski.

Leslie Gliddon, who sells fireworks says business is doing well this year. (It's a steady stream, one person comes up ,another person comes up." Because budgets have canceled bigger celebrations, experts are forecasting 20 percent more people will set off fireworks on their own this year.

Szymanski shows how quickly some dry brush can catch fire from a few sparks. "Once sparks fly, they take off in different directions, landing on dry leaves and brush nearby." Within seconds, the brush is on fire.

Jay Campanile follows the rules, but worries other people's carelessness could ignite his home. That's why he's taking precautions.

"Soaking everything down, even the roof. You never know when there's going to be a bottle rocket or Roman candle coming your way. That could just launch in your roof and hit your condensing section, garage, house," he said.

Fire officials say over-watering your landscaping and keeping your yard clear of dry brush will prevent your property from getting burned. After using your fireworks, soak them in a bucket for at least one hour before putting them in the garbage. Almost every fire in a garage or home after the Fourth of July originates from someone's trash can.

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