San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 29th, 2009
Sticks and fins are out for July 4


Failing to declare a burn ban by the middle of June and not wishing to ban fireworks entirely for the July 4 holiday, Hays County officials instead procured agreements from local fireworks dealers prohibiting sales of certain items before July 4.

Hays County Judge Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) announced last week that local fireworks sellers and suppliers have voluntarily agreed to refrain from selling what are commonly called “sticks and fins” fireworks – skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins – for the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Hays County and local fireworks providers met last Thursday to discuss ways of ensuring that people can enjoy fireworks while maintaining an appropriate level of safety.

“We appreciate the strong support from our local fireworks representatives,” Sumter said. “Much to their credit, many had already removed ‘sticks and fins’ from their inventory, anticipating the drought conditions. We are very blessed here in Hays County that these business owners are as concerned for the safety of our citizens as we are.”

As Hays County is in a severe drought situation, airborne fireworks present a particular concern to fire officials. Sparks can float over large areas, touching off grass and brush fires.

The county could also have considered a disaster declaration to ban fireworks entirely, “which was something we consider as a last resort,” Sumter said.

“We met with representatives from several major area fireworks companies to address this issue and we want to thank them for their pro-active approach in voluntarily limiting the types of fireworks they will sell in our county,” said Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Chambers.

Chambers reminded people celebrating with fireworks to use precautions. Among them are to always have a water source such as a bucket or hose handy, supervise minors closely and always check and recheck fireworks discharge areas for any embers that could start a fire.

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