Harris Co. approves ban of restricted fireworks

June 7, 2011 2:49:04 PM PDT
Harris County commissioners Tuesday approved a restriction on the sale and use of restricted fireworks due to drought conditions. The July 4th fireworks season will kick off soon and for many of you the ban might change your holiday plans.

As fireworks vendors begin stocking shelves for the 4th of July, Harris County leaders are warning vendors and customers that two popular products must be pulled. And it's all because of the drought.

"I understand where they are coming from, but a lot of people are going to be really disappointed," said Rhanda Hafez.

Harris County is now announcing a ban on skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins. The Harris County Commissioners Court says the restriction is effective immediately and will continue as long as drought conditions exist in Harris County.

"The reason we included those two types of products is because as they're ignited they have unguided flight. You can't predict where they're going to go or where they're going to land," said Harris Co. Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery.

The move comes one day after Montgomery County announced a similar ban on restricted fireworks. Emergency workers say they don't want the public taking any chances under these extremely dry conditions.

The Fire Marshal's Office is working closely with fireworks vendors since additional restrictions could be announced in the next two weeks.

"Under a local disaster declaration, there could be additional restrictions. And we are just going to continue to monitor the weather conditions very closely," Montgomery said.

Some fireworks fans we talked to say they'll also be watching and waiting. They say Harris County's decision will impact their holiday plans.

"I agree with it, but I love fireworks, so it would kind of ruin my Fourth of July," said Hafez.

Several fireworks vendors are planning a news conference for sometime next week.

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