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DeWitt County bans sale, use of all fireworks in unincorporated areas

By Sonny Long
June 20, 2011 at 1:20 a.m.

CUERO FIREWORKS DISPLAYThe city of Cuero's annual 4th of July fireworks display will be held again this year, said Cuero city manager Raymie Zella. The fireworks should start about 9 p.m. at the Cuero Municipal Park.

FIREWORKS NOT ADVISED in Victoria County While fireworks are allowed outside city limits, Victoria Judge Don Pozzi would rather residents not light them up.

"There is not a safe spot in Victoria County to set off fireworks," Pozzi said.

He wasn't alone in his sentiments. County resident Ray Pilsner indicated that he didn't want people going outside the city, where fireworks are illegal, to light up.

Pozzi said the Keetch-Byram Drought Index would have to get well over 700 before a complete fireworks ban was initiated. The index was 702 on Monday.

Pozzi added that a complete ban on fireworks probably wouldn't happen. He said it wasn't the court's intention to harm fireworks vendors.

DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler has issued a disaster order prohibiting the sale and use of all fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Last week the commissioners court banned aerial fireworks. A burn ban is also in place.

"The conditions just aren't getting any better," Fowler said. "With 100-degree temperatures and 30-mile-an-hour winds, it's a recipe for disaster."

Texas Forest Service crews were at 20 fires Monday around Texas. Outdoor burn bans are in place in 224 of the state's 254 counties, including Victoria which has also banned aerial fireworks.

The order in DeWitt County goes into effect immediately, and the commissioners court has seven days to ratify it. The court will meet on June 27.

"It goes against my grain in one sense to affect someone's livelihood, but this is a critical time," Fowler said, noting that the order does ban sale of fireworks.

Fowler has also requested an extension from the governor's office to extend the order until 5 a.m. on July 5.



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