Dry conditions have county leaders concerned with fireworks use

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Grass fires continue popping up around the Brazos Valley amid burn bans and dangerously dry conditions.

Multiple fires are being reported around Brazos County every day. County Commissioners implemented a burn ban Tuesday. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, some leaders are concerned that burn bans don’t mean a ban on fireworks.

“People want to go out and do fun things and they want to celebrate on the holidays and that type of thing. And so, we’re mindful of all of that. But we also want to keep people safe. And we don’t, we don’t want to see fires burn and burn property,” Michele Meade, the Brazos County Emergency Management Coordinator, said.

Fireworks are banned inside Bryan and College Station city limits, but people in the county are free to light their fireworks this weekend.

Meade said Tuesday night crews responded to multiple fires that started due to fireworks. In order to put a fireworks ban in place, the state government code requires a decision be made by June 15 with drought conditions present. Meade said at the time, it was not necessary.

As conditions worsen, she said the county has discussed ways they can implement a Disaster Declaration in order to do a complete fireworks ban.

“We’re almost too close to the Fourth of July holiday at this point to do that. We feel like the fireworks stands have been selling fireworks, and people have been buying fireworks. And so, we are going to focus more on public safety and trying to get information out to people about using common sense when using fireworks this weekend,” Meade said. “Have water or sand around so that if something, a spark, does drop, they can put that out quickly. Remember that sparklers can cause a fire as well. So even the simplest of fireworks can cause fires. And just keeping everybody vigilant about conditions this weekend.”

A grass fire near Rudder High School and Austin’s Colony burned around five acres on Wednesday afternoon. A brush fire on Villa Maria Road near BigShots Golf shut down traffic in the eastbound lanes as crews worked to put out the flames. It is unknown what caused either fire.

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