After a year of drought conditions, there's finally enough moisture on the ground for Lubbock County commissioners to lift the burn ban and to allow fireworks this New Years.
The County commissioners held a special session on Thursday to amend the November 14th burn ban. "We've checked with the drought index and we've gotten a little less than an inch of rain in the last ten days or so. Conditions are better than they were over the summer," said County Judge Tom Head who lifted the ban. "This is taking the burn ban completely off, but we're still going to monitor and we can put it back in effect anytime."
In addition to the burn ban being lifted, commissioners decided not to renew the emergency disaster declaration that banned all fireworks. It was put in place on December 13th and expired on December 20th.
"I'm grateful we have had some moisture," said TNT Fireworks vice president Jan Johnson. "We're going to be excited to sell some fireworks."
Johnson says with the firework ban during the last Fourth of July celebrations, the firework industry lost millions of dollars across Texas. She's just happy they'll be able to sell in time for New Years. "Certainly we will not recoup all of that at New Years, but it's great that the public has the option to buy fireworks," she said. "We've been getting a lot of calls asking if we'll be able to sell at New Years so this is good."
Johnson says about ten firework stands in Lubbock will open up the day after Christmas and will stay open until January 1st through midnight.
Although the firework ban is gone, there are still restrictions. Missiles with fins and stick rockets are still banned and cannot be bought, sold or used in Lubbock County. "Most fireworks go up very high in front of you and they fall to the ground with in your range of vision," explained Johnson. "With these they go up and out so it could be if they do land and cause a spark you wouldn't be able to see it."
Shooting off fireworks inside city limits is still illegal. There are also several restrictions to outside burning even though the ban was lifted. To see the dos and don'ts of burning items outside (click here).
Even with Lubbock seeing more moisture recently, county commissioners urge residents to use caution this holiday season while burning or using fireworks.
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