CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last week, Nueces County announced the ban of sales and possession of certain types of fireworks in unincorporated areas in the county.
The reasoning behind those particular types — skyrockets with sticks, bottle rockets, and missiles with fins — being banned, is those fireworks have a higher risk of causing fires with the current drought the area is experiencing.
“Those things have attachments to them that don’t disintegrate in the air and fall back to the ground,” said Annaville Fire Chief Michael Clack. “That’s why we want to stop those, for the safety of the public. That’s the kind of things that fall back to the ground, that stick to the bottle rocket, might still be hot, and can start a fire.”
All other types of fireworks, including mortar fireworks, are legal.
“I don’t want people to think they can’t go out to the store and have a good time, they can,” Clack said. “It’s just things that fall back to the ground and start fires.”
“It’s very typical to have no aerial firework bans, because of the weather right now,” RJ Thomas, the President of the Coastal Bend Emergency Managers Association, said.
There will be corporations and other large entities with fireworks displays throughout the county on July 4th, but those entities have permits to host those firework displays.
“A lot of times, that causes confusion, ‘why are they allowed to set off fireworks and I can’t set off fireworks?’" Thomas said. “These are companies that go through prerequisite training, their plans are produced to the local authorities for review, the training the individuals have in order to put it on safely is known.”
The biggest reason for the ban is to prevent fires in the area, which will help out local fire departments.
“We’re a department of three stations, so we can get overwhelmed pretty quick if we have multiple fires,” Clack said. “In 2010, we had 18 working fires in a matter of about four hours. We were literally putting out fires while fires were starting next to us from fireworks.”
“The manpower does get rather low. You go from one fire to the next fire to the next fire putting out fires from fireworks,” said Thomas, who is also a volunteer firefighter in Ingleside On The Bay, “when you really want to be home celebrating 4th of July or New Year’s with your family.”