Travis, Williamson, Hays counties ban some fireworks amid worsening drought, fire conditions



AUSTIN (KXAN) – Fourth of July celebrations are approaching, but with current, dangerous fire conditions, Williamson, Hays and Travis countries are taking extra precautions.

One of the precautions involves the limited sale of aerial fireworks. Stick rockets and missiles with fins or rudders will not be sold.

Travis County Fire Marshal Tony Callaway said these products pose a greater fire hazard than other retail fireworks.

Callaway has been in discussions with the Texas Pyrotechnics Association, American Fireworks, Travis County’s largest retailer, and others on efforts to enhance fire safety through the upcoming holiday weekend.

“Williamson County is urging everyone to use extreme caution this Independence Day so that everyone has a safe holiday. To that end, we have worked in collaboration with the Texas Pyrotechnics Association and American Fireworks, Williamson County’s largest retailer, to enhance fire safety through this decision to voluntarily not sell stick rockets and missiles with fins or rudders. These products pose the greatest risk of fire danger,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Most jurisdictions within Williamson County have ordinances prohibiting the use of fireworks within or near the city limits, according to a release from the county.

A burn ban is also currently in effect in Williamson and Hays counties but not Travis County.

“Outdoor burning is prohibited under the burn ban,” Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Wobus said. “The Hays County Commissioners Court recently voted to ban the sale of two types of fireworks during the 2022 July Fourth holiday season: ‘skyrockets with sticks’ and ‘missiles with fins’ because drought conditions exist.”

Fireworks, other than those restricted, can be sold and used, even during the burn ban. Sparklers are approved for sale and use.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown said with the elevated fire risk due to drought conditions, he advised people to be cautious while celebrating the holiday.

“I urge the public to be extra cautious while celebrating the July Fourth holiday. With drought conditions only worsening, we must do everything we can to protect our community. Our Fire Marshal and his deputies will continue monitoring conditions and patrolling our county, ready to enforce any and all applicable laws,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said.



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