Breckenridge Texan

Fireworks banned in Stephens County following disaster declaration

Fireworks banned in Stephens County following disaster declaration
July 03
15:54 2018

UPDATE: The Salute in the Salt Flats fireworks show has been canceled due to a lack of a permit, according to Breckenridge and Stephens County Fire Marshal Calvin Chaney. For more details, click here to read the Breckenridge Texan article.

Original article:

Stephens County, as well as Palo Pinto County, is under a disaster declaration prohibiting the sale and personal use of fireworks.

County Commissioner Will Warren said the combination of recent fires in the county and calls by local citizens requesting the ban on fireworks, along with Palo Pinto County’s decision to issue a disaster declaration, led to County Judge Gary Fuller signing the declaration shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. The ban went into effect immediately. Click here to see the official Disaster Declaration.

Six fireworks stands were shut down in Stephens County on Tuesday afternoon, following a ban on the sale and personal use of all types of fireworks. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The sale and personal use of any type of fireworks in Stephens County, including on private property, is banned. The six fireworks stands in the county were notified of the order and have been shut down, according to Justice of the Peace Michael Roach.

Warren said that people who have already purchased fireworks will not be allowed to use them. All sale and personal use of fireworks has been banned throughout Stephens County.

The ban includes all types of fireworks, including firecrackers, and will be in place for 60 hours. The order became official at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. Therefore, 60 hours will be through 2 a.m. Friday, July 6.

“You can be fined up to $500 for each infraction,” Warren said. “(Fireworks) are always banned in the city, but they’ll be a lot more strict on it this year.”

The Salute in the Salt Flats fireworks show will be presented as scheduled, since it is a commercial production and has been approved. The organizers of that show have arranged to have the Breckenridge Fire Department, the Wayland Volunteer Fire Department, the Sacred Cross EMS and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office on hand in case of an emergency. Click here to read more about that event.

There are wildfires currently burning in Palo Pinto and Throckmorton counties. Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney said that as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, the Texas Forest Service had declared the Conner Fire in southern Stephens County as 100 percent contained.

“Besides the fireworks…cutting, welding, parking in high grass, blowouts, dragging chains…besides the obvious, all that will start a fire right now,” Chaney said. “Anything that emits a spark or gets hot will start a fire right now, even things people aren’t thinking about.”

Stephens County has a drought index value of 585, which represents the level of soil moisture. That level indicates the potential for significantly increased wildfire intensity, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

 

Story by Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

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