How quickly can fireworks start fires in dry conditions? Watch…

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BELLEVUE -- The Bellevue Fire Department on Wednesday intentionally set a fire to show how quickly a fire can take off in the current tinder dry conditions.

Crews set brush next to a wooden structure and ignited a firework called "Purple Rain" near the brush.

It took only seconds for the brush fire to spread to the wooden structure.

“Less than 30 seconds,” Fire Lt. Richard Burke said.

Next up, one sparkler.

“We want people to understand how little it takes in the conditions that we have,” Burke said.

They dropped the sparkler on the brush and the flames ignited and spread in just 10 seconds.

“Look at the energy that is generated from this one sparkler -- it’s up underneath the siding,” Burke said.

If there is one thing you can do to make your homes safer, it's this:

“What we are looking for is 18 inches of clearance between the flammable material and a home,” Burke said.

That short distance could mean the difference between life or death.

Firefighters ignited debris 18 inches away from the same structure to prove their point.

“Look at the difference it will make on this fire? Maybe that stuff burns out before it reaches your home,” Burke said.

Burke added that he is worried about the unseasonably dry conditions more than ever.

“The unattended campfire, the cigarette butt, the driving of vehicles through very tall grass, the catalytic converters on all of our cars are a thousand degrees,” Burke said.

With July 4th on Saturday, he's reminding people that human errors cause most fires.

“We are just trying to keep people safe; we are not trying to start a panic,” Burke said.

Don’t panic but be vigilant. Keep in mind that a sparkler is still extremely hot long after it’s done burning. Firefighters say it can be as hot as 140 degrees.

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