Future of Fireworks in Wichita County To Be Decided

Independence Day is about five weeks away and as the holiday quickly approaches, Wichita County officials are trying to do what they can to make sure everyone is safe in Texoma as the ongoing drought continues. 

On Wednesday evening during a Wichita County Commissioners meeting, local volunteer firefighters and fireworks vendors gathered to express their opinions and concerns over fireworks sales and their potential danger to the community.

Wichita East Volunteer Fire Chief Hayden Hansen says the threat associated with fireworks is too high because of dry weather conditions but there is a way to ensure everyone's safety.

"I don't think that necessarily banning them always helps because they are going to get them somewhere and come and shoot them off," Hansen says. "Mainly safety would be a big concern to try and let people know that, 'Hey, everyone wants to have a good time but let's be smart about it.'"

However, Russell Nettles, owner of Russell's Fireworks, says a ban would impact his bottom line and they are doing what they can to inform customers of the best way to handle fireworks.

Nettles says, "What I want to get across is I go to a lot of effort to promote a safety message on how to shoot the fireworks properly. I just wanted to county commissioners and all the fire department representatives to understand that."

Both sides agree a compromise can be reached with the county's help.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossum says a decision on rocket fireworks with fins will be made before June 15.

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