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First responders urge everyone to be safe on the 4th of July

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO – Staying safe on this 4th of July holiday is what first responders are urging this holiday.

First responders working around the clock all year to keep folk’s safe.  But at this time of the year, they're also concerned about firework safety and one thing monarch fire crews have had to deal with are brush fires caused by illegal fireworks.

The fire department tweeted out these pictures today of a small brush fire they had to respond to that was caused by illegal fireworks. No one was hurt and nothing damaged, but fire officials tell me the more they have to respond to these small calls that could be avoided, it takes resources away from more pressing emergencies.  Grass or brush fires typically happen when a small spark or flame from the fireworks comes into contact with dry brush or grass.

The City of St. Louis has also been responding to small grass fires and dumpster fires caused by fireworks.  These are calls that happen around every 4th of July holiday, but fire crews are reminding folks that consumer fireworks are illegal in St. Louis County.

Roger Herin of the Monarch Fire Protection District said, “As you can see it hasn't rained here in a while and that makes things pretty dry and it makes it really easy for grass and brush to catch fire if any little spark hits it.”  “Don't use consumer fireworks we're pretty adamant about that... they're not legal in St. Louis county and we prefer that they leave it to the professionals as you see behind me and let them do their job.”

Fire officials did say that although they have had to respond to these calls, it seems like the number of calls this year is lower than in years past, which is good news they hope will continue through the holiday.