Burn Ban Doesn’t Extend to Fireworks
Yes, there’s a burn ban and, yes, you can set off fireworks.
In a press release today, Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde explained that under state law, the county does not have the authority to ban the incendiary devices even though moderate drought conditions exist.
Nonetheless, he said fireworks enthusiasts should be extremely careful during Independence Day week as Comal County remains significantly dry.
“The entire county is extremely dry,” he said. “If you plan to shoot fireworks, make sure to have a source of water close by to extinguish small fires. The fire departments will be very busy this week, and there could be a delayed response.”
“Please also use consideration for your neighbors, especially those who are veterans or elderly, or who have animals sensitive to the noise.”
As of Thursday, June 28, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which the county uses to assess the need for burn bans and fireworks restrictions, was at 626, which means moisture is more than a half-foot below the ground. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Comal County is in a moderate drought.
While a ban on outdoor burning remains in place it doesn’t apply to fireworks. The KBDI did not reach the required threshold by June 15 for the county to prohibit the sale and use of rockets with sticks and missiles with fins, Klabunde said.
Likewise, state law does not allow counties to prohibit the use and sale of all fireworks without a disaster declaration, the threshold for which Comal County has not yet reached.
Residents within incorporated municipalities should make sure there are no local restrictions against setting off fireworks in city limits, Klabunde said.
Klabunde and his deputies are inspecting fireworks stands, which opened last week, to ensure the safety of the operators and their customers.
The Fire Marshal’s Office will share information throughout the week on its Facebook page, facebook.com/ComalCountyFireMarshalsOffice.