Fourth of July is a few days away and families are making plans to enjoy the holiday. Wichita County commissioners are also busy making plans for the Fourth, but their plans come in the form of a few extra rules.
Judge Woody Gossom says there will be firework guidelines enacted starting Wednesday at noon and continuing through the holiday. Exactly what those guidelines will be is still being debated.
The message is clear: have fun but obey the law and stay safe.
But will there be new laws in time for the Fourth concerning fireworks in Wichita County?
Judge Woody Gossum says yes and ultimately the new guidelines will be about common sense.
Judge Gossom said, "We want you to have written permission, we want you to have the appropriate materials there to suppress the fire, if one starts we want you to be on plowed or cleared land, we want you to have someone that's 18 years of age watching to see if something catches on fire and then we want you to gather up all of the refuge from shooting fireworks and carry it away."
But as for specifics, commissioners won't nail those down until mid week. But there were plenty of suggestions from the public at today's meeting which would keep fireworks legal but with some restrictions.
Regardless, the Wichita County Sheriff's Department plans on ramping up security in order to deal with the fireworks and partiers on the Fourth.
Wichita County Sheriff David Duke told us,"The main thing that we have to focus on is people shooting them from the road ways or going on people's property when they don't have permission. We're not too concerned with most people doing their fireworks on their own property, there will obviously be responsible people there."
And if you do have an accident, Sheriff Duke says don't be afraid to call. Putting a fire out early will help keep people safe and help with water conservation because a small fire is easier to control.
"Even if you set your neighbor's pasture on fire or you're at someone else's location utilizing their land and you set a fire, call 911. You do not have to leave your name. The main thing is where the fire is at and what they saw," Sherriff Duke said.
Judge Gossum says he is looking over suggestions for the guidelines and will have a final version finished soon.
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