Clay County Bans Use Of Fireworks

Clay County has now joined a handful of other counties across Texoma that have banned fireworks.

Commissioners approved in a morning meeting that the use of all fireworks will be banned through a Declaration of Disaster. They are waiting for approval from Governor Rick Perry to extend the ban throughout the 4th of July holiday.

Sheriff Kenny Lemons tells me more deputies will be out looking for people breaking the law over the 4th of July holiday.

Sheriff Lemons says shooting fireworks off the side of highways and roads is illegal whether the ban is in effect or not.

Texomans will be forced to find alternatives for their 4th of July celebrations this year.

Sheriff Kenny Lemons says, "there's all kinds of ways to celebrate the 4th of July rather than shooting rockets and firecrackers. We need to be careful with what we do because we don't want anybody getting hurt or losing any kind of property."

Public safety seems to be on everyone's mind around Texoma.  Clay County Sheriff Lemons says this 4th of July, he nor the city will tolerate reckless behavior.  The Sheriff comments, "we're not going to tolerate any type of illegal activity when it comes to fireworks or reckless activity. These folks in this county, we've suffered enough and we need to be very vigilant on what we do."

Sheriff Lemons says extra law enforcement will be put on duty for the 4th of July weekend, and volunteer fire departments across Clay County will be on stand-by.  Officials say law enforcement will be concentrating on the areas that most people flock to during the holidays.

Due to the recent fires around Clay County, residents I spoke with agree with the surrounding counties on banning the use of fireworks.

City officials say citations will be given out to anyone breaking the law.

As of now a 500 dollar fine is given out to anyone shooting fire works off roadways, which could increase if the declaration is signed by Governor Perry.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6