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Ellis County still under fireworks ban

7/2/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Although the region has welcomed recent rainfall, moisture has not changed the fireworks ban in Ellis County.

It would be difficult to extinguish a fire in wheat stubble, wheat fields or similar land, said Ellis County Rural Fire Chief Dick Klaus. Fire trucks could struggle to enter the wet terrain.

"I get a fire out in the wheat stubble, I can't do nothing about it," he said. "Our trucks will sink out of sight. That's how wet it is."

A stuck vehicle also could endanger the first responders.

Klaus said Ellis County commissioners make the final decision regarding fireworks.

Ellis County Commission Chairwoman Barbara Wasinger said she trusts the fire chief's judgement.

"The safety of people in the county is more important than anything else. And if he feels like we can or we can't, I'm going to follow his lead because he's the one that's responsible for keeping the county safe from fires," Wasinger said.

The city of Hays' decision to allow fireworks does not pressure her because they face different circumstances, she said.