What does the Harris County burn ban mean for fireworks?


In a press release issued on June 28, 2022, the Harris County Fire Marshall's Office (HCFMO) announced that the Harris County Commissioners Court approved a burn ban throughout Harris County just before the 4th of July and this has a lot of people asking if they can still light up fireworks on the 4th of July. in their backyards.

Fire at a construction site in Downtown HoustonCredit: houstonstringer.com

According to the HCFMO, fireworks can still be bought and sold since the burn ban was issued based on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) numbers that were issued on June 15, 2022.

While you can buy fireworks and launch them into the air from the comfort of your own home, HCFMO strongly recommends that residents attend professional displays only, since these are highly regulated and there are safeguards in place to not only prevent a fire, but to keep it from spreading in the event there is on.e.

Some key takeaways from the burn ban:

  • No outdoor burning is allowed but backyard cook-outs and barbeques are allowed. If you are performing "hot work" such as welding, it must be in accordance with fire code requirements.
  • Unauthorized burning against the court order is a Class "C" misdemeanor and is punishable with up to a $500 fine.
  • Any peace officer can issue the citation. If you start a fire, you are responsible for any damage caused.

As always, it is recommended that you remove combustibles within 30 feet of any controlled fire or "hot work" such as welding. If you do see a fire, call 911 immediately, no matter how small the fire seems to be.

As of today, there are 171 Texas counties with burn bans in effect because of the drought conditions across the state.

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