Fire crews show dangers of not watering Christmas tree

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Firefighters say if you're going to have a real Christmas tree during the holidays this season, the most important thing people need to do is water it daily.

The Reno Fire Department and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District provided a side-by-side comparison burning of a dry and watered tree.

"It's what the difference between a dry Christmas tree and a watered Christmas tree and how fast a dry tree will go up and how hard it is for a green tree to burn," RFD Fire Marshal Tray Palmer says. "Not that it won't, but it is a little more difficult."

Firefighters also say that if you do miss a day or two of watering your tree, you need to do the initial process again.

"You should remove that tree, cut it again, make it a fresh cut and put it back in the water," Lisa Beaver, deputy chief of fire protections for TMFPD, says.

It's also important to pay attention to the pine needles.

"If the tree still has green stick, that's a good sign," Palmer says. "What I mean by that it that it still bends, but if it snaps then it is time to think about getting it out of your house."

When the holidays are over, make sure you dispose of your tree properly. Firefighters warn against tossing your tree outside or in your backyard.

"Don't put it where you may already have an issue where you have grass accumulating and other vegetation," Beaver says.