Bee County has banned the use of aerial fireworks in the county because of the lingering drought, and the mere possession of any type of fireworks within the city can get a person a citation or an arrest.
“I would like to remind the citizens of Beeville that it is illegal to use or possess fireworks within the city limits,” Beeville Police Department Chief Joe Treviño said this week.
That has been the case since City Ordinance 1132 was passed by the City Council way back in 1973.
“No person may manufacture, assemble, store, receive, keep, sell or have in his possession, with intent to sell or use, discharge, cause to be discharged, ignite or otherwise set in action any fireworks of any description within the city limits of Beeville,” the ordinance reads.
Treviño said violators will at least by issued citations and they can be fined as much as $200 for ignoring the ordinance.
Fire Chief Donnie Morris said recent rains will not be much help this year.
Much of the most dangerous vegetation, tall grass and brush, is too dry to turn green after a couple of rains.
All it will take to turn the countryside into a tinderbox will be a couple of hot, dry, windy days. Vegetation in this part of the country can dry out quickly.
“Use common sense, and don’t use fireworks around places where there is a lot of dry grass and brush,” Morris said.
That would include places where buildings, vehicles and homes are nearby.
Aerial fireworks are banned from use this July 4, even in rural areas, because of the extended drought.
County Judge David Silva confirmed that there are no plans to call off the aerial fireworks ban in the county this year. Avoid a ticket and an invitation to court and comply with the ban.
Morris said urged lovers of fireworks displays to join him and the other members of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department at the Bee County Exposition Center this Independence Day.
BVFD members will be in charge of setting off an expensive fireworks display being funded by Angel Care Ambulance Service.
Also, firemen will have personnel and equipment on hand to quickly extinguish any accidental fires that might be caused by the fireworks.
That will come at the end of an afternoon of celebration at the Lucas-McNeill pavilions at the Expo Center.
There is no excuse for missing that event, according to organizer Bill Hooten. Entry to the grounds and to the fireworks event will be free.
The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 4.