Fire Concerns Cause Some Classic Fireworks To be Banned - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/20/06

Fire Concerns Cause Some Classic Fireworks To be Banned

You can blame the weather for forcing Lubbock County Commissioners to issue a restriction on some aerial fireworks.  It's an effort to prevent grass fires this Fourth of July.  When fireworks stands open this Saturday, customers will still be able to pick up bundles of fire crackers, and tube assortments.  A classic that they won't be seeing are bottle rockets, but that's not all that will be missing.

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"A lot of them, like your bottle rockets, are non-specific in the directions that they fly.  Some of them do not completely burn out before they hit the ground," said Deputy Chris Eppler from Lubbock County's Bomb Squad.  That spark can set off fires in dry fields.  Idalou Fire Chief Ed Wilbanks says last season, blazes kept them busy.  "Well, it was pretty wild.  Yes it was.  Everybody was busy," said Wilbanks.  This season, county commissioners banned the sale or use of fireworks classified as "skyrockets with sticks" and "missiles with fins" in the hopes of preventing some fires, but crews still expect to be busy.  "I have an idea we will, unless we get some rain," said Wilbanks.

Even approved fireworks still pose a fire danger.  In fact, Eppler says bottle rockets and fire crackers are similar.  Fire crackers just lack a propellant.  Crews say this year would be a good time to let the professionals handle displays.  "That's right; they should," said Wilbanks.  "Usually your professional firework displays that are put on are a lot better than what you buy at the store," said Eppler. 

Just a reminder, it's illegal to shoot any fireworks in Lubbock city limits.  If you choose to pop them off out in the county, make sure to get the property owner's permission.  It's also recommended to have a fire extinguisher, or a bucket of water nearby to put out any fires that start. 

While Lubbock County is banning a few fireworks, Seminole is doing away with its entire display.  Organizers say its just too dangerous with the dry weather conditions.

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