San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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July 3rd, 2008
Amateur fireworks pose extreme fire risk

From the city of San Marcos

Don’t use personal fireworks over the July 4 weekend here.

Instead, enjoy the free public fireworks display at San Marcos Plaza Park at 9:30 p.m. Friday. That’s the message from San Marcos Fire Rescue and the Fire Marshal’s office.

“The extremely dry conditions this summer are even worse than New Year’s when several hundred acres and some buildings burned near San Marcos due to wildfires caused by fireworks,” said Ken Bell, Fire Marshal.  “Any rain we get now will have little effect on the severe fire risk we are experiencing.”

The Fire Marshal’s office and San Marcos Fire Rescue will have extra patrols on duty this weekend to answer fireworks complaints. They will also set up traffic signs warning that fireworks are banned in San Marcos.

To report illegal fireworks in San Marcos , call 753-2108.
The city of San Marcos prohibits the sale, possession, storage, or discharge of fireworks in the city and within a mile of the city limits. Violators can be fined up to $2,000.

Gov. Rick Perry has declared Hays County and Central Texas a disaster area due to the extreme risk of wildfires. Hays County commissioners have issued a “sticks and fins” fireworks ban which prohibits using aerial rockets.

Nationally, nearly 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms annually for fireworks-related injuries—and most are children between the ages of 10-14. In 2005, fireworks sparked 2,500 fires and caused $39 million in property damage. Most fireworks fires and injuries happen around the July 4 holiday.

Friday’s Summerfest Celebration at San Marcos Plaza Park will feature a public fireworks display “bigger and better than ever,” said festival co-chairs Lisa Morris and Rebecca Ramirez.

Fireworks will be staged from the parking lot on the west side of Bobcat Stadium on the Texas State University campus beginning at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 4. Great viewing will be possible at a variety of locations, including San Marcos Plaza Park, the Activity Center, Library, City Hall and Strahan Parking Lot.

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