Can a Tarrant County burn ban stop the lighting of fireworks?

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All fireworks are illegal in the city of Fort Worth and can cause serious injury. But Texans can light up in unincorporated areas of Tarrant County.

jlmarshall@star-telegram

Public fireworks displays may be the safest places for families this weekend, according to Tarrant County Fire Marshal Randy Renois.

At least that’s what Renois encourages people to do because of the fire danger posed by lighting personal fireworks.

The dry and hot conditions in the county prompted Renois to propose another outdoor burning ban at the Court of County Commissioners. The court will consider the ban at Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 10 a.m.

Renois said he was quite confident the commissioners would approve the outdoor burning ban.

The outdoor burning ban only applies to unincorporated areas of the county because most cities have their own ordinances prohibiting outdoor burning, Renois said.

The ban will not affect the sale or use of fireworks, as it is not part of the law governing outdoor burning bans. Section 352.081 of the local authorities code on county fire protection, covers outdoor burning but does not mention sales or use of fireworks.

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Ban on outdoor burning in Texas effective June 27, 2022. Texas A&M Forest Service

As County Tarrant faces severe drought conditions and extremely hot temperatures for a few months now he has issued a burning ban April 5 but lifted it just over a month later May 10.

What worries the fire marshal are people with personal fireworks hoards setting them off illegally.

What fireworks are illegal

In Texas, common 1.4G fireworks may be sold on designated days throughout the year.

Retail fireworks season dates typically fall around holidays such as the 4th of July, Christmas, New Years, and Texas Independence Day.

Illegal fireworks include sky rockets or bottle rockets, with a propellant charge of less than four grams, an outer case diameter of less than five-eighths of an inch, and an overall length, including stick, of less than 15 inches.

Pop rockets with a propellant case length of less than five inches, an outside diameter of less than three-quarters of an inch and an overall overall rocket length of less than 26 inches are also not permitted, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. State of Texas.

Where can you light fireworks

Fireworks cannot be shot anywhere in town.

The lighting of personal fireworks is limited to unincorporated parts of Tarrant County, as long as it is your property or you have received permission from the owner.

Other limitations by the Tarrant County Fire Marshal’s Office to understand:

  • Explode or set off fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, asylum, licensed child care center or schools, unless you have received written permission from that organization.
  • Explode or ignite fireworks within 100 feet of where flammable liquids or compressed gases are stored and dispensed.

  • Explode or ignite fireworks within 100 feet of where fireworks are stored or sold.

  • Lighting or discharging fireworks inside or from a motor vehicle.

  • Lighting or placing lit fireworks in a motor vehicle or throwing fireworks at a motor vehicle.

If property damage over $200 occurs due to a violation of the limitations or if the incident results in bodily injury or death, the violation is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

Report illegal fireworks

Fort Worth and Arlington have ways to report illegal fireworks activity.

Fort Worth residents are asked to call 817-392-4444 or report through the MyFW app using the red banner at the bottom of a smartphone screen. Reports can also be made on reportfireworks.fortworthtexas.gov.

Arlington residents are asked to report illegal fireworks to arlingtontx.gov/reportfireworks or using the Ask Arlington app on a smartphone.

Brayden Garcia is a duty reporter at the Star-Telegram. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where he worked at the student newspaper The Shorthorn. He previously worked for the Dallas Morning News on education.

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