WEATHERFORD — Parker County commissioners granted a request by Fire Marshal Sean Hughes Friday to extend a prohibition discharging fireworks to match the timeline of the county-wide burn ban to Sept. 6.
Commissioners Monday approved a 60-day extension of the burn ban, which was set to expire on July 8.
Under a local disaster declaration due to severe drought conditions, the county Tuesday had also requested the governor's office extend a temporary ban on discharge of fireworks through July 5. That approval was granted Thursday evening.
"With this approval by the governor, it does allow us to extend the ban beyond July 5," Hughes told commissioners Friday. "It's my recommendation that the prohibition follow the burn ban into September. If we get significant rain, or we feel like we can lift it, then we do that at that time."
Similar to the burn ban, the fire marshal or commissioners could choose to lift it if conditions improve between now and then.
County Attorney John Forrest said the county's Keetch Byram Drought Index number is just below "severe drought" conditions.
"I spoke with the governor's office and there were 21 counties that put a request in to ban the sale, use or both [of fireworks]," he said. "As of today, 19 have been approved and two rejected, based on their KBDI."
Hughes said it was important to remember that just because one area might receive a "pop-up" storm, it didn't necessarily affect other areas of the county, and "really has very little effect on the KBDI and some of the other issues," he said, referencing water supply at lakes or ponds.
"That's a good point, because the fires west of us, they were using lake and pond water to assist," Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Dugan said. "And a lot of that water is not available right now."
Forrest pointed out that this prohibition does not impact shows in Weatherford and Hudson Oaks, which are conducted by professionals with approval from the fire marshal, and have fire trucks on standby.
The ban covers any firework "that emits a spark or smoke."
A hotline has been set up between the Parker County Sheriff’s Office and the Parker County fire marshal where an individual can leave a message with the location of a violation: 682-333-0002.