Austin
1:29 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Burn Ban Dampens Fourth Fireworks Sales

Travis County is under a burn ban but fireworks are still on sale. The county is allowing fireworks but not recommending their use.

Keith Cooper sells fireworks for an “American Fireworks” stand. He thinks the burn ban is keeping some customers away.

“Sales have started off a little slow this year. People are a little leery of fire. But they’ve been fairly well,” said Cooper. “Of course it always picks up during the holiday. The third and the fourth are always our best days.”

Vendors met with the Fire Marshal’s office yesterday and agreed not to sell winged fireworks, rockets and missiles – that’s because they pose the biggest fire risk.

It’s illegal to have or to use fireworks in the City of Austin. If you’re caught, the Austin Police Department says you could be charged with a Class “C” Misdemeanor – with a fine up to $568.

But if your fireworks cause major damage, the punishment could go up.

“If your fireworks cause bodily harm or property damage, we can charge you with assault or arson and those are both felony crimes.  So, obviously that’s not anything you want to get in the middle of,” said Michelle DeCrane, Austin Fire Department Public Information Officer.

If you want to report the misuse of fireworks, you can call 3-1-1.