Wichita County Fireworks Guidelines Officially Set

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom has signed off on a fireworks order setting restrictions on the use of fireworks. County commissioners got very detailed requests for what fireworks retailers want in the order.

The declaration is effective as of noon June 26th, and will stay in effect for the next 50 hours. The governor has been asked to extend the declaration through the end of July. The guidelines for fireworks are similar to last year, with a few additions.

Here are the guidelines as sent to us by Wichita County officials:

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 4th of July season.

2. Fireworks include, but are not limited to, any commercial fireworks product sold for personal use, other flammable materials used in activities associated with recreational pyrotechnics, or any other activity that could result in a wildfire.

3. The use of fireworks is allowed under the following guidelines ONLY:

        a. 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.

        b. The person(s) using the fireworks must have prior permission of the landowner with name and contact number, if not the landowner. Unauthorized passage onto private land is currently against the law.

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

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

        e. A minimum of a one (1) gallon pump/sprayer or 3 lb. or greater Residential/Recreational A-B-C chemical fire extinguisher or charged water hose must be on site. Other fire suppression tools, such as shovels or wet burlap bags are recommended.

        f. Fireworks may not be discharged in brushy areas. Fireworks are not to be discharged in tall grass, above nine (9) inches or in very dry conditions, cleared or plowed ground without stubble is preferable.

        g. Fireworks should not be discharged less than 25 feet from any property line or right-of-way. h. Aerial fireworks must not leave area you are using to discharge fireworks.

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

        i. Persons using fireworks must have trash bags or other covered 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, 940-766-8170, and their servicing volunteer fire department at least twelve hours before the activity begins. The person making notification must give name, phone number, and address of responsible person, as well as the event location and the hours of the activity.

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

Request: If a fire starts and is not readily extinguishable, please call 911, report the fire and remain on scene until appropriate personnel arrive.

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