By Amanda Rogers
The United States celebrates its 246th birthdaythis weekend, but Mansfield Fire Marshal Scott Lingo is hoping that the partydoesn’t get explosive.
Possession and discharge of fireworks in the city limits is llegal in Mansfield, he points out, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 per offense.
Despite that, the fire department gets hundreds of calls each year about illegal fireworks in the city.
“Generally, by the time we arrive, they’re done,” Lingo said.
But the stakes are higher this year, thanks to the lack of rain. On Tuesday, Tarrant County Commissioners approved a 90-day burn ban because of the danger, with a $500 fine for each offense.
“We are close to drought conditions,” Lingo said. “It’s a tinderbox right now. You could burn the county down.”
Earlier in the summer, the fire department fought blazes caused by barbecue grills.
“Before the fire department could respond, one burned five yards, the siding on a house, an air-conditioning unit and fences,” Lingo said.
With dry conditions, fireworks could do as much – or more –damage, Lingo said.
“That could happen before we get water on it,” he said.
Fireworks can also frighten animals and humans, Lingo points out.
“Animal control goes out and has to round up all the dogs hat get out,” he said. “And it’s not just animals, but our veterans. Some have PTSD. I’ve seen that this really affects them.”
Lingo doesn’t want to douse the Independence Day spirit, though.
“My advice is to leave the fireworks to the professionals,” he said. “We’re having a really good show on July 3.”
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.