In another indication that Texas fireworks laws need to be fixed, Medina County (just west of San Antonio) managed to close fireworks stands, then allow them to open, then close them again.
To explain, the curent law allows counties to declare a “disaster” around dryness and prohibit combustibles for up to 60 hours with regards to fireworks. Of course, fireworks “combust,” so they’re considered in this category. Any extension of this power must be done by the governor. (Sadly, this law was put in at the suggestion of a fireworks industry lobbyist in 2006!)
Medina declared their disaster on Friday, December the 19th. The 60 hours expired on Sunday afternoon. At that point, the county told fireworks sellers they could open their stores/stands. The caveat was that the paperwork was in the governor’s office and hadn’t been approved yet.
Three more days pass of back and forth between Medina and the governor’s office. Medina hadn’t submitted the correct paperwork and the governor’s staff was a skeleton crew. Late Wednesday afternoon, the governor’s office extended the ban and fireworks were prohibited for the season.
We’re working to get our laws fixed this Spring especially as counties here continue to demonstrate their inability to deal with fireworks in a responsible and timely manner. We need a “recipe” dealing with droughts that takes all subjectivity out of the hands of county judges that no nothing about fireworks and fire danger.