CEDAR PARK, Texas - The Cedar Park Fire Department is reminding everyone that most fireworks are illegal in and around city limits.
The department is also asking residents to not use fireworks, but instead attend the professional show the city is hosting at Milburn Park, located at 1901 Sun Chase Boulevard, beginning at approximately 9:15 p.m.
"Fireworks cause thousands of injures and many fires each year," Fire Chief James Mallinger said in a release.
Mallinger says because Cedar Park has many fire service areas which are not part of the city, it is important for area residents to understand the law, especially as it pertains to areas outside of city limits.
"Even though state law allows for the sale of fireworks immediately adjacent to the city limits, that same state law makes them illegal to use in the city limits," Mallinger said.
According to Mallinger, Cedar Park's ordinance also makes fireworks illegal within 5,000 feet of city limits without a special permit.
The Cedar Park Fire Department responds to several areas of Travis and Williamson counties, which while not in the city limits, are part of the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Fireworks are illegal in those ETJ areas served by the Cedar Park Fire Department.
The City of Cedar Park has a zero tolerance policy regarding fireworks, meaning that police must issue citations to any violators. The punishment for possessing fireworks can be up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000 plus court costs.
Police and firefighters will be patrolling areas for illegal fireworks, both inside and outside of the city limits during the holiday. An interactive map of where fireworks are allowed in Williamson County is available here until July 5.
Since the holiday means an uptick in outdoor activity and celebrations, Mallinger is reminding everyone that despite recent rainfall, the area is still at risk.
"The summer heat makes any moisture that we've received evaporate quickly and puts us back to those dry conditions that are ripe for a wildfire,” Mallinger said. “We want everyone to use extreme care with simple things, from outdoor grilling to discarding a cigarette, and remember that a small spark can quickly turn into a fire.”