LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - You may have seen the rockets' red glare on New Year's Eve, but if you saw it over a neighbor's house within city limits, it was illegal.
There weren't many places in Longview on New Year's Eve where you didn't hear a pop or a boom. Longview Deputy Fire Marshal Bert Scott says it's a problem at least twice a year.
"We ran anywhere from 50-60 calls in a 24 hour period due to fireworks," Scott said.
If caught, Scott says many claim ignorance.
"Some people lived in the county before they moved into the city and didn't know that there's a city ordinance that says you can't shoot fireworks inside the city limits, then other people, they do it every year," Scott stated.
And they just keep doing it, but the reason it's illegal is common sense.
"If you get a grass fire going, the dry conditions we have could create a larger problem. There's been known to be house fires being set from that," Scott explained.
And the offender could be responsible for damages. It typically makes for a busy night.
"It does tie up man hours because between the fire department and the police department, that just adds to the work load that's already there," Scott said.
Scott also works with the Hallsville Fire Department, and says there was an incident there New Year's Eve.
"We had a dumpster fire that was related to fireworks," Scott revealed.
Fortunately they got it out before the fire spread. Scott also points out that, even though we've had some rain and there is no burn ban it only takes a spark.
"You get a wind, you're in a fire. Even though the ground's wet, underneath it still can burn, just because we've already had a freeze so everything's dry," Scott added.
So, wet, dry, cold, hot, burn ban or not, you can't burn in the city of Longview, and that includes fireworks.
You could face up to a $2,000 fine if you're caught lighting fireworks in the city of Longview. If you are found to be in possession of an opened package of fireworks in the city you could face the same penalty, potentially for each firework.