Can you light up fireworks under a burn ban in North Texas? It depends on where you are

·3 min read

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

That is at least what Renois is encouraging people to do because of the fire danger posed by lighting up personal fireworks.

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

Renois said he is fairly confident that commissioners will approve the outdoor burning ban.

Ban on outdoor burning only applies to the unincorporated areas of the county, since most cities have their own ordinances prohibiting burning outdoors, Renois said.

The ban will have no affect on firework sales or use, since it’s not part of the law governing bans on outdoor burning. Section 352.081 of local government code on county fire protection, covers outdoor burning but does not mention fireworks sales or use.

Texas outdoor burn bans as of June 27, 2022.
Texas outdoor burn bans as of June 27, 2022.

As Tarrant County faced severe drought conditions and extremely warm temperatures for a couple months now, it issued a burn ban April 5 but lifted it just over a month later on May 10.

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

What fireworks are illegal

In Texas the common 1.4G fireworks are permissible to be sold on designated days throughout the year.

Retail fireworks selling season dates are typically around holidays such as Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year’s and Texas Independence Day.

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

Pop rockets with a less than five-inch propellant casing length, an exterior diameter less than three-fourths of an inch and an overall total rocket length less than 26 inches are also not permissible, according to the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Where can you light up fireworks

Fireworks can’t be shot off just anywhere in town.

Igniting personal fireworks are restricted to unincorporated parts of Tarrant County, as long as its your property or you received permission from the property owner.

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

  • Exploding or igniting fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, asylum, a licensed child care center or schools unless they receive written authorization from that organization.

  • Exploding or igniting fireworks within 100 feet of where flammable liquids or compressed gasses are stored and dispensed.

  • Exploding or igniting fireworks within 100 feet of where fireworks are stored or sold.

  • Igniting or discharging fireworks within or from a motor vehicle.

  • Igniting or placing ignited fireworks in a motor vehicle or throwing fireworks at a motor vehicle.

If property damage that exceeds $200 occurs because of a violation of the limitations or the incident results in bodily injury or death, the offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

Reporting illegal fireworks

Both 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 at reportfireworks.fortworthtexas.gov.

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

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