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Dry Conditions Throw Wet Blanket On Public Fireworks

Photo courtesy of Anthony Cramp

Extreme drought could put a damper on some Fourth of July festivities this year. The Travis County Fire Marshalannounced today that local authorities will not approve any permits for public fireworks displays.

According to Travis County, the decision came after multiple wildfires have ignited in the past two months. Most recently, a four-alarm brush fire broke out after a transformer caught fire near Hamilton Pool Park.

The high risk of wildfires is causing many Central Texas counties to take caution around Independence Day. Williamson and Blanco Counties have already banned aerial fireworks and are discussing a ban on all fireworks. Williamson County took the advice of the Texas Pyrotechnic Association and restricted the sale of fireworks to just four days starting July 1.

The city of Leander is taking a creative approach to solving the increased risks of wildfire around Fourth of July. It is hosting a laser light show instead of a traditional fireworks display at this year’s Liberty Fest.

Travis County officials say they will continue to monitor weather conditions and decided if a disaster declaration is needed that would ban the sale and use of all fireworks.

Genna is a news intern at KUT. She is a graduate of Texas State University.