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Fire crews perform controlled burn on North Padre Island ahead of Fourth of July weekend

With current drought conditions, ESD #2 got a jump on the holiday weekend by fighting fires with fire.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Fourth of July weekend is a highly celebrated holiday along the coast, and although it might be a few weeks away, crews are already making sure to keep a close watch on fireworks.

The Island Blast Fire Work Display is a beloved Fourth of July tradition for families across the Coastal Bend; but along with the usual red, white, and blue boats of all shapes and sizes, there is almost always a small fire that breaks out on the spoil islands near the display. 

"We haven't got a chance to burn off the last couple years with weather things like that last year. We didn't think it was gonna burn and it did." said Deputy Fire Chief J.P. Hominick with Emergency Service District #2.

In 2021 a fire began on Spoil Island two minutes into the firework display. 

That's why Hominick and his ESD #2 crew, along with help from station #13, and the Annaville Fire Department are conducting a controlled burn-ahead of this years event.

"There are hundreds of boats out here," Hominick said. "And at night they are navigating home through this smoke, so if we can help is burn this now so when they leave that night they don't have to navigate through this."

Hominick said that their property is to make sure all of the Island residents and spectators are able to enjoy the show and get home safely. And even though aerial fire works might now be allowed, due to drought conditions its important to be cautious. 

"Any aerial fireworks that might happen will create a dune fire, so if we can go ahead and eliminate one area now, that's one less area to worry about the night of the 4th," Hominick said. 

Due to Wednesday's winds, Hominick predicts the controlled burn will take around three hours to complete. 

The firework display will take place Sunday July 3, and will kick off at 9 p.m.

Organizers with the Island Blast Firework Display, are still short from their fundraising goal of $31,000 to put on the event, which will shoot off 1,400 shells to light up the sky.  For the link to donate you can visit their website. The Island Blast Fire Work Display

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