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Victoria County bans some aerial fireworks

By Brian Cuaron
June 6, 2011 at 1:06 a.m.


CITY OF VICTORIA DOESN'T ALLOW FIREWORKS

If you're thinking about lighting up in the city for July 4, you may want to think twice.

Mark Flathouse, investigator for the city's fire marshal office, said violators of the ordinance can face a fine of up to $200 for discharging fireworks in the city and a $150 fine for just possessing them.

The city's ban on fireworks has been in place since 1990. Flathouse said the ban will be enforced.

The Victoria County Commissioners Court, on Monday, banned the sale or use of some aerial fireworks.

The ban includes skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins in the unincorporated area of Victoria County. The ban is due to an increased fire risk caused by the county's dry conditions.

Fire Marshal Ron Pray said the ban doesn't include mortars. He explained the mortars usually burn up completely while in the air, while parts of the other fireworks may catch fire on the ground after they're ignited.

Judge Don Pozzi said he doesn't anticipate the county banning all fireworks. For that to occur, Pozzi would have to make a disaster declaration with approval by the governor's office.

Pozzi said that the Keetch-Byram Drought Index would have to be more than 700 for the entire county for him to consider such a declaration.

He added that he would also look at the recent history of house and grass fires, as well as the conditions in surrounding counties and any recommendations that may come in.

The firework ban will be enforced by Pray, who will visit with fireworks vendors at the beginning of the fireworks season, which starts on June 24.

Pray said the county will open up Saxet Lake for fireworks on July 4.

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