Worries in Coryell County loom as firework sales expected to start statewide

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:24 PM CDT
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - An area fire chief is sending out a warning to be extremely careful this year as firework sales are expected to start on Friday.

Extremely dry conditions throughout Coryell County in Central Texas is causing some worry for those who plan on popping fireworks leading up to Independence Day.

Similar to McLennan County, Coryell County has a burn ban in effect. But the county has not gone to extremes like Bell County and banned all fireworks, despite being one of the driest spots in the area.

“Fireworks, you never know what they’re going to do,” said Billy Vaden, Gatesville’s fire chief. “So far, people have done a good job of not starting fires. What has started, we have done a pretty good job of getting there quick.”

This year, the department has been responding to a lot of hay fires.

Lucky for Vaden and his team, the only large wildfire they have seen this year was in March. That was when the Crittenburg Complex fire spilled into the county from Fort Hood.

“Fort Hood is a reminder that it is dry,” said Vaden.

And because it is so dry, he is hearing from others about the concerns with fireworks.

“The recommendation is from all the county fire departments that I have spoken to in the last couple of days is not to have any fireworks at all,” said Vaden.

And with lots of dry fuels that can keep a wildfire going, he hopes people will heed the warning.

“We just encourage people to be extremely careful,” said Vaden. “It doesn’t take anything to start a wildfire.”

The chief said county commissioners will meet next week and fireworks will be discussed. That could mean a ban or some type of restrictions on their use, but nothing is official as of now.

“And I don’t see any rain in sight.,” said Vaden. “So, it’s going to be this way for a long time.”

Related Link: No private sale, use of fireworks while drought disaster declaration in effect: Bell County judge

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