Dry Christmas trees can go up like Roman candles

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MESA, Ariz. -- The Mesa Fire Department is reminding people of the dangers of dry Christmas trees with a stunning demonstration.

Firefighters used a regular candle to light a dry tree to show Bruce Haffner exactly how fast it can burn. The tree was completely engulfed in flames in just a few seconds.

"These things go up like Roman candles if they're not properly watered," said Mark Enriquez of the Mesa Fire Department. "People don't realize just how devastating a tree fire can be."

It's not just candles that are dangerous. Electric lights can also spark a tree fire.

Firefighters say it's essential to have working smoke detectors in your home. Fire extinguishers are also a good idea to keep your family safe.

If you do have a cut tree, you should keep a close eye on the water level. Check it every day. If the needles start shedding, it's time to dispose of the tree.

Do not just leave your tree in the alley or throw it in a Dumpster.

"That just makes them a target for arsonists and children with matches," Enriquez said.

The best thing you can do is contact your city about Christmas tree collection sites and recycling centers.