(From left) Catalina, 9, and Caleb, 14, organize price tags.
(From left) Catalina, 9, and Caleb, 14, organize price tags at Mr. W Fireworks. On Tuesday, Bexar County Commissioners approved a temporary ban of two types of fireworks due to extremely dry weather conditions. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Bexar County Commissioners approved a temporary ban on the sale and use of two types of fireworks — skyrockets with sticks and missile with fins — until the countywide burn ban is lifted or until July 18, whichever comes sooner.

Fire Marshall Chris Lopez requested approval for the order at Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. It was supported unanimously with little discussion.

Under Texas state law, these are the only two types of fireworks that can be banned. Use of other types of fireworks will still be permitted in unincorporated Bexar County, despite the area’s dangerously dry conditions.

“Unfortunately that’s the only kind we can prohibit … but at least this gives us a little bit of assistance in this area,” said Lopez.

Bexar County’s burn ban is determined by wildfire risk conditions assessed by the Texas A&M Forest Service. It has been in effect since mid-April this year.

The use of fireworks within San Antonio city limits is illegal, with violators subject to a Class C misdemeanor fine of up to $2,000, but the ordinance is widely ignored by Fourth of July revelers. Violating the county order is also a Class C misdemeanor, with a fine up to $500.

This year with all of Bexar County classified as being in either extreme drought or exceptional drought, fire danger is amplified.

“Fires often happen after fireworks were used,” Lopez said in a prepared statement. “The family has gone to bed and the smoldering debris reignites in the trash can.”

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.