Lubbock fireworks ban to include stiff penalties - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock fireworks ban to include increased patrols, stiff penalties

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The Lubbock Police, County Sheriff's Office and Lubbock Fire Department have teamed up in effort to keep you safe this July 4th weekend. 

The three agencies are begging community members to stay away from fireworks in these dry conditions. "We're asking the citizens to voluntarily work with us to not use fireworks if they still have them from last year or New Years. We need your help to keep this city safe," said Chris Angerer, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Lubbock Fire Department.

Current bans make it illegal to shoot off fireworks in Lubbock County. It's also illegal to have fireworks in your possession. Officials are warning that just a little bit of firework fun could quickly turn into a devastating disaster.

"Just the smallest spark right now will light a very, very bad fire. With the winds, with the heat everything is primed and ready to burn," said Angerer. "Fire fighters having to work in these temperatures, they put on their bunker gear, it's very hard for them to work. It makes their job even more dangers so, I'm pleading for your help."

Since January 1st more than three million acres and 1,399 structures have burned across Texas. Just in the last two weeks at least three homes within the city limits of Lubbock have burned as a result of grass fires.  Two of those homes burned beyond repair. 

In an effort to crack down on violators, all three agencies will be increasing their patrols this holiday weekend. "Since we have a lot of firework activity typically happening out in the un-incorporated areas we will also have additional marked and unmarked units moving around the county," said Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe.

Lubbock Police will also have eight additional officers patrolling inside city limits. "We will have some officers paired with fire marshals, and we'll have some additional officers out there as well strictly doing enforcement on fireworks," said Police Chief Roger Ellis.

The fire department will also have an increased staff and extra equipment on hand if fires do break out.

Penalties for possessing or using fireworks this season will begin with confiscation and fines up to $1,000  and could end in arrest and jail time of 180 days.

If you see community members using fireworks you are asked to call the police dispatch at 775-2817 or the Sheriff dispatch at 775-1465.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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