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For Minneapolis Fire Crews, A Busy Fourth Of July

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Fireworks mixed with extremely dry conditions forced fire crews into action on Independence Day.

The Minneapolis Fire Department responded to more than 60 reports of fires caused by fireworks in just a few short hours.

If you look closely across the city you can see the remains from Sunday night's Fourth of July celebrations.

Not only can you find the leftover containers that once held fireworks that lit up the sky, you can see the charred remains of what was once grass, burned by fireworks.

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(credit: CBS)

"It was either grass fires, garbage can fires, there was even a couple of garages started on fire," MFD Public Information Officer Melanie Rucker said.

Rucker says it was a busy night for fire crews.

"It was city wide. It was north side, south side, northeast, even downtown," she said.

In the span of two hours on Sunday Minneapolis fire crews responded to between 40 and 50 grass fires, most within city parks.

"I know people think, 'OK, I'm in the park and I'm away from buildings, that'll be safer,' but it's not," Rucker said.

Rucker says people gathered in city parks to share the wealth when it comes to fireworks, but it was the landscape that paid the price.

"Some of the ones that shoot up in the air and those sparks fly, you can't really control where they land," she said.

Some of those sparks did land on garages, causing at least two fires. But it was garbage or recycling bins that caused even bigger problems.

"We appreciate that you are trying to dispose of them and put them in your trash recycles, but some of them are still hot and that is starting a lot of trash bins on fire," Rucker said. "So make sure they are completely out even if you have to put some water on them before putting them in your trash recycle."

With near drought conditions continuing to cause dry lawns in Minneapolis, a warning for those with left over fireworks from the Fourth.

"We really want to say don't pop them, but we can't," Rucker said. "So we'd rather you just not do it in the parkways or the dry grass and do it where there is more cement and things like that."

Crews also responded to several burn injuries.

The Minneapolis Fire Department reminds people most of the big booming fireworks are illegal, and the best displays are handled by the professionals.


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