San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 15th, 2011
Commissioners call fireworks ban


Hays County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the sale and use of fireworks with sticks and fins in unincorporated areas until at least 1 a.m. Friday.

The fireworks ban and the ongoing county burn ban are in place due to drought conditions prevailing in much of the state. County officials anticipate Governor Perry will grant the county’s request to continue the ban through July 4.

Those who are exempt from the ban include government entities and those who possess county permits to conduct organized, commercial fireworks displays in unincorporated areas.

A county can only ban fireworks by declaring a drought-related local state of disaster, which can only be extended by the governor, said Hays County Spokesperson Laureen Chernow.

Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Chambers recommended the fireworks ban.

“While it is unfortunate that we can’t celebrate our independence on July 4 with fireworks, the risk is too high,” Chambers said. “Drought has made fire danger of paramount concern, and we have to take the safety of our citizens and their property into consideration. All residents of Hays County should take the fire risk we face seriously and adhere to the fireworks ban, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 for violators.”

Chambers said the ban would be reconsidered if drought conditions before July 4 improve significantly. Chernow said county officials do not expect drought conditions to improve through the July 4 holiday.

Chernow said a grassfire burned 15 acres between Nutty Brown Road and the Belterra Subdivision near Drippings Springs on Tuesday. Chernow said the fire was quickly contained and, last she heard, Chambers still was investigating the matter. No structures were reported damaged in the fire.

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