Officials urge people to use fireworks safely during Fourth of July weekend

While people are gearing up for Fourth of July buying fireworks, officials are urging people to use them safely, especially with burn bans in effect across our area.

Some safety tips include having a designated sober adult to light fireworks, put them in water when you're done, and don't lean over them when lighting.

Fireworks are illegal in many city limits including Austin

Travis County and the fireworks industry have agreed not to sell two types of products because of the risk for wildfires. "We voluntarily gave up stick rockets and missiles and that is probably the most effective way to control issues and problems, and we don't sell them," Chester Davis, owner of American Fireworks, said.

He says business is about the same as last year.

Some shoppers are doing their part to make sure they're using fireworks in the right place. "We're definitely having to travel around to figure out where is the safest place, I get it, we don't want to start any fires anywhere, so we want to do it in a safe way, so we're having to scout out the right location," James Allen said.

Travis County Emergency Services Districts are staffing 12 extra brush trucks for the weekend and the Austin Fire Department may be bringing in extra staff.


They say the recent rain helped a little bit with dry conditions but not enough. "It's going to be a very hot weekend, it's going to be a very busy weekend unfortunately for us is what we're anticipating," Division Chief Thayer Smith said.

AFD says last Fourth of July:

"In total during last year’s holiday, our enforcement teams wrote 10 citations over the course of the long weekend and confiscated LOTS of illegal fireworks. Yet our crews across all three shifts were still incredibly busy; in addition to their regular call volume, they also responded to two structure fires, and 13 dumpster, seven trash, and three grass fires, all from fireworks (during a normal shift, those latter numbers would be one or two each). We also had two garage fires that were the direct result of discarding hot fireworks material."