Breckenridge Texan

UPDATE: Local fireworks show canceled

UPDATE: Local fireworks show canceled
July 03
20:51 2018

Breckenridge and Stephens County Fire Marshal Calvin Chaney announced Tuesday evening that the Salute in the Salt Flats fireworks show has been canceled because the organizers do not have a permit required by the Texas Department of Insurance, a state government agency that performs the duties of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Kent Thompson, who organized the fireworks show, said in a post on his restaurant’s Facebook page, Canyon Road Barn and Grill, that he doesn’t qualify for the permit because the show isn’t large enough. However, Thompson said he will plan to host the show again next year.

According to Chaney, the permit was required for the show even before the Disaster Declaration was issued, banning the sale and personal use of fireworks in Stephens County.

“I’ve checked with the State Emergency Management Coordinator; I’ve checked with the State Fire Marshal; I’ve checked with Texas Forest Service,” Chaney explained. “And that Disaster Declaration says in the last sentence that ‘Whereas, this declaration shall allow the commercial display of fireworks only as per State Permit numbers,’ and then it gives those numbers. That has to be obtained through the Texas Department of Insurance before a show can go on. That’s the rules.”

Click here to see a copy of the declaration.

The declaration was signed by Stephens County Judge Gary Fuller earlier Tuesday because the current hot and dry conditions have increased the potential for wildfire. By declaring a disaster in the county, the county officials have the right to ban the sale and use of all fireworks. That is covered in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 418, Section 108.

Specifically, 418.108 (i) of the Texas Government Code states:

A declaration under this section may include a restriction that exceeds a restriction authorized by Section 352.051, Local Government Code. A restriction that exceeds a restriction authorized by Section 352.051, Local Government Code, is effective only:

(1) for 60 hours unless extended by the governor; and
(2) if the county judge requests the governor to grant an extension of the restriction.

According to Chaney, Fuller made that request. “They had to get permission from the governor to do this emergency disaster declaration,” he said. “We’re trying to follow the law, and that’s what the law says.”

For more information about the Disaster Declaration, click here to read the previous Breckenridge Texan article.


Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

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