Fireworks are commonly linked to Christmas and New Year festivities, but Texas Forest Service warns the outcome can be disastrous if proper safety precautions are not taken.
"Many Texans will be using fireworks to celebrate Christmas and the New Year," Texas Forest Service Fire Operations Chief Mark Stanford said. "TFS wants Texans to use fireworks safely in order to protect themselves and to avoid accidentally starting wildfires."
Gary Hamner of the Abilene Fire Department says it's critical people stay away from fireworks this year. He says we face a very serious situation if an accident occurs.
Under Texas law, county government officials have the authority to restrict certain types of aerial fireworks when drought conditions exist or when hazardous fuel conditions are present during the winter months. County officials also consider drought conditions when determining outdoor burn bans for their counties. Texas Forest Service does not make decisions regarding restrictions on fireworks or outdoor burning bans. The state agency does, however, provide drought condition information to counties.
Currently, many parts of Texas are in danger of accidental wildfire because of continued drought. Most of Central and West Texas is experiencing drier than normal conditions. In Southeast Texas, debris from Hurricane Ike and vegetation killed by saltwater is contributing to the problem, as is cured debris that remains from Hurricane Rita.
Check back with bigcountryhomepage.com later today for a complete report on the danger fireworks pose under dry conditions.