Heat, drought has officials worried about fireworks safety - CBS46 News

Heat, drought has officials worried about fireworks safety

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

After a weekend brush fire started by a model rocket charred five acres in a Gwinnett County park, fire officials across Metro Atlanta urge people to take extra caution with fireworks this Fourth of July.

Ted Scartz, 42, was arrested after Gwinnett County Police said he shot off a model rocket at Alexander Park in Lawrenceville.

On Monday, neighbor James Morrow came by to look at the damage. 

"This could have burned somebody's house down," Morrow said. "This definitely should prove to everyone that it's unsafe, that it's very dry around here and to contain the fireworks that you do use."

State Fire Marshal Dwayne Garriss said anything that emits sparks should be used with caution because of the drought. Fireworks like sparklers are permitted, but anything that shoots into the air or explodes are not.

"Those devices have caused the most problems so the ones that go aerial and the ones that explode are dangerous and illegal in the state of Georgia," Garriss said.  

Garriss encourages the public to enjoy public fireworks displays instead of doing their own, but if you do light your own sparklers, he suggests doing it on a paved surface, and to make sure you have a water hose or a bucket of water nearby.  

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