As we inch closer to the Fourth of July holiday, there was a question as to whether or not localities would allow fireworks. Until just the past week, we have gone without rainfall for quite some time throughout the panhandle. Even after the heavy rain we have seen recently, it is still not enough to lift burn bans in most counties throughout this part of Texas. However, officials throughout the region feel confident that fireworks can be used safely this 4th without large risk of wildfire.

According to Texas state law, counties can only ban rocket or missile-type fireworks if conditions are right. The Texas A&M Forest Service monitors drought and wildfire conditions, then ranks where each county sits on a drought scale. A county must stay under a rating of 575 in order for a ban to not be issued. If the county's number goes over that mark, then commissioners can impose a ban.

 

With recent rains, we have been able, for the most part, to stay under that ranking. If you plan on purchases fireworks this year, remember they are not permitted within Amarillo city limits. Also, make sure you have fire extinguishers or water on hand to douse any sparks that could turn into a grass fire.