Friday, June 13, 2008

Rocket's red Glare

As the local counties go through this same procedure, seemingly every Summer, I have a better idea.

Why not just ban fireworks all together except for professionally run fireworks displays?

Do we really need kids throwing firecrackers at each other?

Bexar County expected to ban fireworks
KENS 5 Eyewitness News

Bexar County commissioners are expected to ban all fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday.

They plan to declare a local state of disaster during Tuesday's meeting, hoping to avoid the 200 grass fires seen during New Year's.

County officials already met with fireworks vendors.

The county will still allow fireworks to be sold and used at designated safe zones. The vendors agreed to offer more of the safe areas.

Drought might lead to total fireworks ban
By Chris Cobb: The Herald-Zeitung

Comal County officials said a firework-free Fourth of July might be on the horizon if the area doesn’t see any rainfall soon.County Commissioners continued discussing a possible ban on all fireworks Thursday morning, a week after they outlawed setting off “skyrockets with sticks and missiles with fins.”

“If we don’t get any significant rain before June 23, I plan to declare a state of emergency and ban the sale and use of all fireworks,” said Comal County Judge Danny Scheel. June 24 is the first day fireworks vendors legally can sell their goods.

Scheel has the authority to declare the current drought a disaster for a 60-hour period, and when that period expires the governor then must reinforce Scheel’s declaration and extend the formal state of disaster.

Dry conditions throughout the county are increasing the risk of potential fires.

As of Thursday, the county was rating above 600 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures the likelihood of wildfires based on the amount of moisture in the soil.

Anything over 700 is considered extreme drought conditions.

“We’ve been getting a tremendous amount of phone calls about the threat to the environment, and fear of more fires starting throughout the county” Scheel said. “Looking at the 14-day forecast, there’s not a whole lot of rain, and the KBDI is expected to get above 700. So (a total fireworks ban) looks pretty possible.”