BELTON, Texas - Fireworks are now banned in Bell County as the county is under a high risk for wildfires, according to officials.
A drought disaster declaration is now in effect, which bans the sale and use of fireworks throughout the county. The declaration does make an exception for fireworks displays that have been issued a permit by the Bell County Fire Marshal's office.
"The conditions and wildfires that we are currently facing, highlight the need in my view to set the prohibition in place," County Judge David Blackburn said during a press conference about the declaration Wednesday. "The sole purpose in this declaration is to protect persons, and property, and public safety."
Blackburn shared maps and indexes during the conference showing drought conditions in and around Bell County that demonstrate a high risk for wildfires.
Violations of this declaration, either through the sale or use of fireworks of any kind, is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.
The declaration will be featured as an agenda item on the Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for Monday, June 27, says the county. During that meeting, the public will be able to voice their concerns before the Court votes to uphold, alter, or rescind the declaration.