People may be ticketed and fined for possessing or detonating fireworks on Forest Service land. This includes four national forests—Angelina, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Sabine—as well as two national grasslands—Caddo and Lyndon B. Johnson—according to a news release.
This rule will help prevent uncontrolled wildfires, Forest Supervisor Kimpton Cooper said in the release.
“We want the forests and grasslands to be safe and enjoyable for all over this holiday weekend,” Cooper said.
Officials encourage residents to attend local fireworks displays in their communities instead of setting off their own fireworks. The Texas Department of Insurance issued over 250 permits for Fourth of July shows this year, according to a news release.
As of June 21, 93% of Texas was under abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Roughly 17% of the state was experiencing an exceptional drought and extreme sensitivity to fire danger. Drought conditions are indicated by five categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.
Burn bans are typically implemented during a severe drought. Some cities and counties must establish separate fireworks bans, but fireworks are never allowed on Forest Service land or at state parks.
The National Weather Service has issued drought information statements for seven Texas metro areas: Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Austin/San Antonio, Fort Worth, Houston/Galveston, Lubbock and San Angelo.
Fireworks sales across Texas began on June 24 and must end by midnight on July Fourth. Under state law, certain bottle rockets, pop rockets and sky rockets are illegal and may not be sold at any time.
Texans can check with their local authorities for more information about burn bans and fireworks restrictions.