Fireworks banned from Fourth of July celebration
Orange County will be celebrating America’s birthday in a much quieter fashion this Fourth of July.
In a special session Tuesday, the Commissioners’ Court extended the ban on the sale and use of fireworks through July 5.
“Sorry guys,” John Dubose, precinct three commissioner, said to several fireworks vendors in attendance. “The issue here is simply the danger.”
The danger comes from the dryness of the area, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley.
“It is going to take a good, soaking rain to return our situation to normal,” Kelley said. “A few passing thunderstorms won’t do what we need done.”
Kelley said that in the next 14-day outlook, only two or three days even received a rain prediction from the National Weather Service.
“Those days are only predicted to be from 20 to 30 percent,” he said. “We are in the extreme (of drought).”
The court also left the burn ban in effect as well, as County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said that the banning of fireworks has to be done because of the dry conditions.
“This decision had to be made (Tuesday),” he said. “Once extended, the ban cannot be lifted for seven days. If lifted, we could not have reinstated it.”
Precinct One Commissioner David Dubose said that he felt the fireworks ban had to be done.
“All it takes is one fire,” he said.
Once the ban was extended, fireworks vendors poured out of the courtroom. Two such vendors, Kevin Wise and David Husband, co-owners of K-N-D Fireworks in Orange, are left to count their losses — which Husband claims is in the thousands of dollars.
“This is only our second season to be open,” he said. “I doubt that there will be much making up of sales for us during the holiday season before New Year’s Eve.”
Wise said that he cannot even remember when a full-blown ban of fireworks has been done in Orange County.
“Being unable to do business certainly was not in our minds when we started this up last season,” Wise said.