Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Austin

Area residents cautioned against using fireworks

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Fourth of July revelers should plan to enjoy a professional fireworks display on Independence Day.

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday morning voted to ban outdoor burning in unincorporated areas due to dry conditions. The burn ban expires on July 31 unless further action is taken by the court.

“I urge county residents to exercise extreme caution while celebrating Independence Day. A burn ban does not affect the use of fireworks in the county, but I recommend that residents attend professionally-run fireworks displays, instead of personally using fireworks which can easily start fires,” said Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee.

Residents should also avoid throwing cigarettes out vehicle windows and make sure machinery and vehicles are properly maintained to avoid creating sparks.

The ban does not affect prescribed burn under supervision of a prescription burn manager.

Barbecuing is allowed in Travis County Parks and parks managed by the county as long as the fire is in a closeable container on a container with a lid. Keep water nearby to douse the fire and call 911 immediately if the fire gets out of control.

As always, fireworks are prohibited in the city of Austin.

San Marcos officials also issued a statement reminding residents and guests that fireworks are also banned in and within 5,000 feet of the city limits.

The penalty for violating the fireworks ordinance includes fines up to $2,000. To report illegal fireworks in San Marcos, call the police non-emergency line at 512-753-2108.

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