North Texas leaders reminding people to avoid large gatherings this July 4th weekend

North Texas leaders are reminding people to avoid large gatherings for the July 4th weekend.

And those who plan on celebrating are being asked to limit their party to the people who live in their house.

Tarrant County first responders are gearing up for an unprecedented July 4th holiday.

“The police department has got their piece of responding to complaints,” explained Mike Drivdahl, with the Fort Worth Fire Department. “Code compliance department has also got a piece, and then the Fort Worth Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention is going to be a piece of that as well.”

The typical incidents - grass fires, illegal fireworks and more – are being compounded by a face mask ordinance and COVID-19 concerns.

“At no point in this pandemic response has the goal been to go out and fine, go out and close businesses. The goal has always been to go out and try to get people to understand why we are asking them to do those things,” said Shana Granger, with Trinity River Water District.

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A revamped fireworks show is set to happen at Panther Island on Saturday, but the accompanying festival is canceled.

“Everything is going to be up in the air. There’s nothing to see on the ground,” said Mike Wagoner, with Extreme Pyrotechnics. “I wouldn’t even try to come down here because they’re not going to let you. We’re locked in here by ourselves.”

There will be road closures around Panther Island and beyond.

“We just decided it would be the safest thing to do, discourage the gathering, minimize traffic, and urge people to watch the show from afar with their family,” Drivdahl said.

While it’s unclear the extent of patrols or monitoring for groups or businesses in violation of the state’s face mask order, officials are encouraging compliance.

“We educate to prevent and we prepare to respond,” Drivdahl added.

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