|Fireworks restrictions remain in place despite overnight rain|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Dec. 31, 2006 - New Year's Eve celebrations are expected be dampened by more than the almost 3 inches of rainfall that fell overnight — county residents will also have to factor the current restrictions on aerial fireworks into their holiday planning.
Hopkins County Commissioners Court, in a meeting last month, voted to curtail the use of certain fireworks, citing continued drought conditions as a major factor in the decision to prohibit certain types of skyrockets and missiles.
�The order approved by the court prohibits the use of traditional stick rockets or finned fireworks in all unincorporated areas of the county.
While counties and municipalities can set guidelines over certain fireworks, the law prevents them from banning the use of common small fireworks such as “class C” explosives. That means firecrackers are still permitted as are “large fireworks devices designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, deflagration, or detonation and classified as Class B explosives.”
The fireworks restriction order also notes that anyone caught violating the order can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor offense, generally administered as a citation carrying a fine of up to $500.
The county judge also asks that anyone who does use the allowable fireworks, such as firecrackers, to also take precautionary measures to lessen the threat of unintended fires, as well as personal injury.
All types of fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Sulphur Springs, as well as on state or federal waterways.
The county's fireworks restriction order may be viewed online at http://www.hopkinscountytx.org/agendas/2006-2007/Fireworks.htm
For more specifics on fireworks laws, go online to http://www.tamu.edu/ticc/legislation.htm and click on "Fireworks Restriction Legislation."