Burn ban continues in Hays County, commissioners ban sale of 2 firework types
Hays County remains under a burn ban, thanks to a high wildfire status caused by dry conditions and high winds.
The current burn ban was implemented by the Commissioners Court on the recommendation of the Hays County Fire Marshal on June 7. This county-wide ban prohibits all burning — such as burning brush or household debris and bonfires — not under special permit from the fire marshal. With Independence Day approaching quickly, this has posed a concern for holiday fireworks.
Ultimately, most firework activity will remain unaffected by the ban — with two exceptions.
"The Hays County Commissioners Court recently voted to ban the sale of two types of fireworks during the 2022 July 4th holiday season: 'skyrockets with sticks' and 'missiles with fins' because drought conditions exist,” Hays County Fire Marshal Mark Wobus said. A skyrocket is a type of firework that uses a solid-fuel rocket to rise quickly into the sky; a bottle rocket is a small skyrocket. Skyrockets use various stabilization techniques to ensure the flight follows a predictable course, often a long stick attached to the side of the motor, but also including spin-stabilization or fins. Meanwhile, a missile is a sky rocket that doesn't use a stick for guidance but may rotate to give it some stability as it lifts off, may use fins as stabilizers or may be shot from a tube.
Fireworks other than those listed above can be sold and used in Hays County, even during the burn ban, although individual neighborhoods and municipalities might apply their own restrictions. Sparklers are approved for sale and use.
Wobus urged residents who light fireworks to utilize extreme caution.
"Have a water source nearby in case it's needed," he said. "Pay attention to where the fireworks go and where the debris lands. Our conditions are dry, so be extra cautious."
For updates concerning the burn ban and wildfire status, visit haysinformed.com/firemarshal.