POTTER COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A local fire agency seeing a lower call volume compared to last year.
In 2020, Potter County Fire Rescue received more than 20 calls in a span of five hours. This year, they had that many calls for the entire weekend.
26 calls for service. That’s what Steven Denny, Potter County Fire Rescue public information officer said they received over the weekend. Only a few of those calls were for grassfires.
Denny said this is a lot lower than in previous years.
“Normally by the time dusk starts, we have to put our hot dogs down and hamburgers and get in the truck and work until two or three o’clock in the morning,” said Denny.
While it is legal to set off fireworks within Potter and Randall County, it is illegal to set off fireworks within the city limits.
The Amarillo Fire Department and Police Department are authorized to take and destroy fireworks within city limits.
Denny said typically when people come out from the city to set off fireworks, it can often lead to grass fires.
“Whenever people from the city come out to the county and trespass either on the ditches or the right of ways or other people’s property, they don’t have the same amount of respect for that and we get a lot of wildfires that way,” said Denny.
He added that last year they went on several calls pertaining to firework-related injuries, such as to the hands and eyes, but says they also have received fewer calls this year on those as well.
Denny said that Potter County is no longer under a burn ban and the recent rainfall helped mitigate the risk.
“We would have been, but due to the rain and moisture we got, judge tanner lifted that burn ban early. The vegetation wasn’t dried out on the ground and it really just provided a great time for everybody to celebrate with their fireworks and not have the normal grass fire risk that we are used to,” said Denny.
Denny said they did receive more calls of people getting injured from outdoor activities. Some of those include riding go-carts or bicycles.