Recent rainy weather in the area put an end to Bexar County’s burn ban Tuesday, paving the way for potential New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.

State law limits which types of fireworks can be banned and permits the bans to exist only under drought conditions. Bexar County implemented a burn ban in mid-April, allowing it to temporarily ban certain fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July.

Fire Marshal Chris Lopez told commissioners he’d planned to once again ask for a ban to be in effect through the holidays, but the county no longer has the authority to do so because of all the recent rain.

“We had been at a level with the drought index that we had a burn ban in place,” Lopez said. “Because of the rain that we got this past weekend … it has lowered the drought index where we no longer can keep the burn ban imposed.”

The use of fireworks is prohibited in San Antonio but allowed outside of city limits. Lopez said permits will be given for professional fireworks displays in unincorporated parts of the county. The county will also give permits for the sale of certain types of fireworks that had been restricted during the burn ban.

“It was some bad news for them that we were going to request the restriction,” he said. “I’m sure that once they get this news, they’re going to be pretty happy.”

Lopez said he would request that another burn ban when drought conditions return.

“Basically we just need to rescind the burn ban until we get back up to a level where we can come back to you and then request another,” he told commissioners.

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Andrea Drusch

Andrea Drusch writes about local government for the San Antonio Report. She's covered politics in Washington, D.C., and Texas for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, National Journal and Politico.