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July 4 celebrations cause 30 fires in western Clay County

An unoccupied home in the 200 block of Sue Lane was one of 30 fireworks-related fires reported July 4.

An unoccupied home in the 200 block of Sue Lane was one of 30 fireworks-related fires reported July 4.

Independence Day activities kept Clay County fire fighters scrambling the night of Thursday, July 4 and early morning hours of July 5, responding to 30 fires started by fireworks.

Most of the fires were located in the western part of the county, especially near Wichita Falls. Wichita County placed restrictions on fireworks just one day before July 4. Restrictions included a requirement to have at least 5 gallons of water and fire fighting implements on hand, and placed limits on aerial fireworks. No fireworks were allowed if wind speeds topped 20 miles per hour.

Grass fires hit Lake Arrowhead, Dean, Jolly and Petrolia VFDs the hardest.

Fireworks in the Lake Arrowhead area caused 10 fires, including one vehicle fire that also burned the carport and an exterior wall of a home in the 9000 block of FM 2606.

With the Wichita County restrictions, a fireworks stand located in Jolly allowed shoppers to discharge fireworks in a lot next to the business. Jolly fire fighters extinguished seven small fires at the stand. The location also kept law enforcement and Clay County EMTs busy, responding to a fight, two burns and an asthma attack.

Jolly provided mutual aid to eight fires in the Dean area and one at Lake Arrowhead.

An unoccupied home was a complete loss after a blaze in the 200 block of Sue Lane. It was one of nine fires caused by fireworks in the Dean area. At least one of the Dean fires, located on 77 Ranch Road, started with fireworks possessed by Wichita Falls residents.

Petrolia VFD responded to three fires in the Petrolia area, and provided mutual aid to seven fires in the Dean area and to the Byers VFD for a fire on the Red River. The Waurika, Okla., EMS transported one person from the scene of the Red River fire.

Arrowhead Ranch Estates VFD provided mutual aid to Dean and Lake Arrowhead VFDs for two fires.

Henrietta battled one blaze early Thursday afternoon when power lines sparked a small grass fire on Dale Ranch Road. No fireworks-related fires were reported in areas covered by the Henrietta, Bellevue, Vashti, Joy or Charlie-Thornberry VFDs.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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