Fireworks Allowed for the New Year, with Restrictions

Wichita County Commissioners are giving their approval to a long- standing tradition: fireworks to ring in the new year.

On the day fireworks go on sale, Judge Woody Gossom plans to submit a 60 hour prohibition to Governor Rick Perry to restrict the use of fireworks. The sale of fireworks will not be restricted.

Here are the firework restrictions:

1. The use of fireworks in an outdoor environment by any person is restricted, but Wichita County is not banning the sale of fireworks this New Year season.

a. The person(s) using the fireworks must have written permission of the landowner, if not the landowner. Unauthorized entry onto private land is trespassing and against the law.

b. A separate person over the age of 18 years must be present to act as a spotter to observe for possible fires.

c. A minimum of 5 gallons of water must be available on site.

d. A minimum of one (1) water pressure fire extinguisher, one (1) gallon pump/sprayer, or one (1) 5-gallon bucket of water must be on site with other fire suppression tools, such as shovels, wet burlap bags, or rag mop.

e. Fireworks may not be discharged in brushy areas, but may only be used on cleared or plowed land.

f. Aerial fireworks must not leave the area you are using to discharge fireworks

g. No fireworks may be used if winds are 20 mph or greater.

h. Fireworks may not be used within the right-of-way of a public road or highway or any other public lands at any time unless specifically allowed by legal authority.

i. Persons using fireworks must have trash bags or other container to remove fireworks refuse from the site and properly dispose.

j. Any business owner or individual allowing individuals to ignite fireworks on their premise with or without a charge, must register this activity with the Wichita County Sheriff and the servicing volunteer fire department at least twelve hours before the activity begins. The person making notification must give the name, phone number, and address of responsible person, as well as the event location and the hours of the activity.

If a fire is started or observed, you must call 9-1-1 immediately so that a local fire department can respond quickly.

NOTE: Violation of this Order is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

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