TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With the 4th of July weekend quickly approaching, residents in the View area are worried about fireworks. Just six weeks after the Mesquite Heat Fire, dirt and rust are what cover the remains of residents’ belongings. 

Doctor Pearl Merritt lives just outside of View and lost everything to the flames, as she attested to KTAB/KRBC earlier. 

“They said had it been five more minutes than we would have been in the valley, we all would have died,” said Dr. Merritt. 

Dr. Merritt said had it not been for the quick reaction of the Sheriff’s Office, she and her family may not be alive to tell their story. Meanwhile, she is now warning others just how fast a fire can spread. 

“If people can see this horrible devastation, please don’t come out into the country and have those fireworks going off,” advised Dr. Merritt. 

After experiencing this devastation, Merritt told KTAB/KRBC she is concerned about her neighbor’s safety ahead of Independence Day. 

“If just one person has a firecracker out here and it sparks a fire, we’ll see this spreading this devastation even more,” said Merritt. 

ECCA Volunteer Fire Chief Gary Young explained how residents are on pins and needles for the holiday weekend. 

“We’re going to have trucks on routine patrol, looking around and being seen in the area,” said Chief Young. 

Homeowners expressed fear of yet another large fire, as Chief Young said conditions are still the same, possibly drier now, than during the Mesquite Heat Fire. 

“Seeing this firsthand,” Chief Young said, “to come close to understanding why someone would choose to take part in an activity in these conditions that could put so much in jeopardy.”

While Taylor County has restricted aerial fireworks; such as skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins, Judge Downing Bolls said he can only hope and cross his fingers that nothing happens. 

“All we can ask people to do is use some common sense,” Judge Bolls said. “If it’s 100 degrees outside and the wind is blowing at 30 miles-per-hour and the humidity is 10%, don’t shoot fireworks off.”

Bolls reminds county residents that it is illegal to shoot fireworks over any public roads including county roads in more rural areas. He says for those who use fireworks and starts a fire damaging someone else’s property, liability will be held and fined.