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

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) – Bell County Judge David Blackburn on Wednesday, June 22, issued an order prohibiting the private and personal sale and use of fireworks without a permit issued by the Bell County Fire Marshal’s Office.

“The only goal is to protect people and property. That’s the only motivation,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn previously issued a drought disaster declaration on June 13 and that declaration will remain in effect until July 11, when it may be extended. The county declaration and fireworks ban does not apply to Fort Hood, a federal military installation.

The order banning the sale and use of fireworks went into effect immediately on June 22.

Blackburn said public displays of fireworks at licensed events will continue as those events have licensed fireworks and fire personnel on site.

The county judge explained that a drought index shows that soil moisture levels in Bell County are very low and the risk of wildfire is serious. Local fire departments have responded to 33 wildfires in the past seven days and 75 wildfires so far in June.

One hundred percent of Bell County is “abnormally dry” while 70% of the county is experiencing “severe drought,” Blackburn said.

Copyright 2022 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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