Fireworks will not be permitted in unincorporated areas of Ellis County during the Fourth of July holiday.
The Ellis County Commission agreed during Monday’s meeting not to allow fireworks. Under an existing county law, fireworks are prohibited in rural areas unless the commission votes to allow them.
“I think it’s a good idea to allow them in the city but not in the county,” Commission Chairman Dean Haselhorst said, citing concerns about predicted hot and dry weather. “Starting about Wednesday, we’re going to have 102-degree days for the next five days.”
If weather conditions change, the commission could choose to revisit the issue.
Fireworks can be used in cities that choose to allow them. The Hays City Commission already has approved the sale and use of consumer fireworks from July 2 to 4. Ellis and Schoenchen also will allow fireworks, and the Victoria City Council is expected to decide June 20.
Ellis County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Darin Myers said most nearby counties are allowing fireworks, with the exception of Barton County.
At last week’s meeting, Myers noted fireworks can be a cause for concern in rural areas, where there is a greater risk of fires spreading quickly and help is further away. He did not make an official recommendation, leaving the decision to the county commission.
“From a safety standpoint, fire trucks responding out to the county is a lot different than within the city: longer distances, different types of grass, different types of allowable winds that are out there with no restrictions,” he said at last Monday’s meeting. “You’ve got to take all that into account, and we will persevere one way or another.”