Wichita County Bans the Use and Sale of All Fireworks

Governor Rick Perry has approved of Wichita County's Declaration of Disaster, which means Wichita County residents will not be able to buy or pop fireworks for the Fourth Of July.

Wichita County Commissioners called an emergency meeting this morning and passed a disaster declaration that makes the sale or use of fireworks illegal.

Some of the firework venders in the area tell Newschannel 6 that they understand the situation.  Shelves are fully stocked in many fireworks stands in the area.  They were set to open on June 24th, but with this new firework ban in place shelves will remain stocked until December.

Extreme weather conditions and cries from the public are prompting county leaders to take action.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom says due to the high volume of calls coming in, commissioners decided to pass a disaster declaration Wednesday morning.  It has put a ban in place for the sale or use of all fireworks in the county.

It was a unanimous vote that Judge Gossom says is happening all over the state.  Gossom says, "there's over a hundred other Texas counties that have already done this, the fire danger is just to great."

With theses extreme weather conditions any firework, even the small ones could potentially cause a huge fire.  That is why Russell's Fireworks employees understand the reasoning for the ban and are in full cooperation.

But it is an extreme measure Russell's has not had to deal with in it's 31 years of business. Patsy Hodgkins, mother of the owner of Russell's Fireworks says, "we agree with the Judge Gossom's decision in full because it is really dry outside and one of the worst drought we've seen in several years."

The Wichita County Sheriff's office says it will put more deputies on the streets over the Fourth Of July weekend to make sure no one violates the fireworks ban.  Citations up to 500 dollars will be given to any violators.

City officials say Archer, Baylor, and Wilbarger Counties are all under the same firework ban.  They also say Clay County might be next to join.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6