McLennan County community ready to enforce county’s ban on use, sale of fireworks this 4th of July weekend

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - McLennan County’s firework ban was extended on Friday after approval from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office.

The extension means the commercial sale or personal use of fireworks is not permitted within the county during the holiday weekend and beyond.

Travis Vincent closed the windows to American Fireworks on Tuesday after receiving the notice about the ban signed by County Judge Scott Felton.

“As far as I know, we’re not going to sell anything with the ban,” Vincent said. “The ban says selling, popping or - it’s actually having them in your possession.”

The prohibition of fireworks comes at a time where McLennan county is experiencing a severe drought with less than an inch of rain being recorded for the month of June, according to weather.gov.

Robinson Chief of Police Rich Andreucci is taking extra measures to ensure the safety of his residents this Fourth of July.

There will be added police force over the weekend in addition to an increase in volunteer firefighters and dispatch operators to ensure residents are complying with the city ordinance and the county’s ban.

“We have two extra officers that are on duty through the weekend just to help with the firework calls,” Andreucci said.

“Normally, it’s just a warning like ‘hey stop putting the fireworks off it could start a fire,’ but this year, with the disaster declaration and the drought and all the information we put out, the county’s put out, it’s been on almost every news station that I’ve seen about how severe the drought is, I do expect my officers to probably issue some citations this year to individuals who, despite al the information, still choose to shoot fireworks off.”

For anyone looking to go against the countywide ban, you could be looking at a class C misdemeanor with fines up to $500.

“It’s in their discretion to give a verbal warning, written warning or a citation,” Andreucci said.

A citation he hopes his officers won’t have to hand out.

“I know it’s tough not to want to shoot fireworks off for the Fourth of July. It’s a great time. It’s one of my favorite holidays, but unfortunately, this year, have some sparklers, spend time with your family. If you can get close to one of the public displays that are going off, go see Waco’s fireworks or go to Killeen or Fort Hood where they’re having the public displays,” Andreucci said.

“Let the professionals do the work this year and maybe next year, if it isn’t quite as dry and you live in some of the unincorporated areas of the county, you can pop them off then. The risk of a substantial fire damaging someone’s home to me is no worth the temporary joy you’ll get from popping off fireworks. To play it safe, families can attend public shows around the Central Texas area.”

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