Weatherford Democrat

July 1, 2011

Fireworks ban to be extended


Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD — PARKER COUNTY — At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Parker County Judge Mark Riley will extend the local state of disaster declaration which bans the use of fireworks due to the imminent threat to life and property from wildfires.

The Texas Disaster Act allows county judges to ban the use of fireworks during a disaster for up to 60 hours unless the governor extends the ban.

Riley’s forthcoming extension will be followed by a request to Texas Governor Rick Perry to extend the ban on use of fireworks beyond the 60-hour limit.

“The need to prohibit the use of fireworks is more critical as each day passes,” Riley said. “Counties across the state are taking steps necessary to protect property and life. I am also concerned about the hardship on our fire departments.”

Parker County, along with Texas as a whole, is currently mired in one of the worst droughts in Texas history, creating conditions that are conducive to explosive fire growth, according to the Texas Forest Service.

Parker County is currently under a disaster declaration that includes a ban on the use of fireworks. Perry’s extension on that disaster declaration banned the use of fireworks through 7 a.m. Tuesday.

“I want our residents to know now, that in order to protect life and property during this extreme drought, I will issue another order that will continue the ban on the use of fireworks,” Riley said.

Violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor and law provides for a maximum fine of up to $1,000, plus court costs or confinement in jail up to 180 days.