'A fire like this, it's not going to stop': First responders warn of firework antics


A fire suspected to have been caused by teenagers playing with fireworks luckily only burned an acre of land in Longview Tuesday night, but it could have been a lot worse.

The 48,000-acre Eagle Creek Fire was also started by a teenager who threw a firework into a ravine.

Dry conditions and warm weather ahead have first responders worried about this wildfire season.

Officials believe a group of teenagers threw a mortar-type device into a brush between Cowlitz Drive and Lexington Bridge Drive.

"A fire like this, it's not going to stop, it probably would have went down and taken out the trailer court down below," Dave Kessler, who lives near the site of the fire. "It just depends which way the wind is blowing and how dry the conditions are. We could end up like they did out in the Columbia Gorge. That could happen."

The fire spread to about an acre before it was extinguished, -- and it had rained days prior, which helped stop it from spreading.

It was only about thirty yards from a mobile home park and several other homes.

"The DNR investigator did find fireworks at the point of origin of the fire, so it's pretty clear the fireworks started the fire," said Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's deputy Charlie Rosenzweig. "We need for them to come forward, just be honest, talk to their parents, have their parents call us."

Deputy Rosenzweig said they want to talk to the kids to explain to them what kind of impact this kind of behavior can have. They're of course better off not playing with fireworks in the first place, but if they are, it's better to just call 911 off the top if a fire starts.

"In cases like this where they're playing with fireworks and a fire starts, CALL 9-1-1! Let us know something bad happened, let us know a fire got started, so that way we can get ahead of it" the deputy said.

Investigators would still like to hear from anyone with information on Tuesday's fire.

People can respond anonymously using the smart phone 411 app.

People using fireworks at the wrong time and in the wrong way can get fined and even put in jail.

"That's not what we want to do with kids" said Rosenzweig. "Are they going to play with fireworks? Yes. Will accidents happen? Of course. We just want everybody to be better educated about the serious dangers."

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