Breckenridge Texan

Local officials ask community to use extreme caution over holiday weekend to prevent wildfires

Local officials ask community to use extreme caution over holiday weekend to prevent wildfires
June 30
15:34 2022

Stephens County will not be banning fireworks this Independence Day, according to a press release issued by County Judge Michael Roach, but local officials are urging residents and visitors to use extreme caution over the holiday weekend. However, using fireworks in the City of Breckenridge is prohibited.

At their meeting on Monday, June 27, the County Commissioners took no action on the burn ban that was already in place, meaning that outdoor burning — such as brush piles, burn pits, trash, campfires, etc. — is currently prohibited in Stephens County. Barbecue grills are allowed.

The sale and use of fireworks — as well as the banning of fireworks — is regulated by Texas state law. In the press release, Roach explained that in order for fireworks to be banned or restricted, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for Stephens County had to have been at 575 or higher just before June 14. Since it was not that high, the commissioners couldn’t enact any kind of ban or restriction on fireworks in Stephens County.

Today, the KBDI shows an average number of 551 for Stephens County. Higher numbers could allow for an Emergency Declaration, as some area counties have declared.

To try and minimize any potential fire issues, local fire departments will be traveling around the county on Monday night, in order to be in better locations to rapidly respond to any fires. Upon the County’s request, the firework stands in Stephens County will not offer fireworks with “sticks or fins,” according to the press release.

County officials remind local residents and visitors that they are civilly and criminally responsible for any fires they start using fireworks or other activities that could start fires (welding, shredding, etc.).

Additionally, Roach offered the following requests and suggestions to the community:

• If you don’t have property to enjoy fireworks safely, please attend one of the professional fireworks shows
• Soak spent fireworks in/with water before discarding them.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
• Never use illegal fireworks

Click the following link to read the full press release: 2022StephensCountyFireworksNotice


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