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Some Fireworks Ban with Drought Restrictions

Citing drought conditions, Commissioners' Court on Tuesday has prohibited the use and sale of "rockets with sticks" and "missiles with fins," two common types of fireworks, for the holiday season. Fireworks sales are legal in Texas from Dec. 20 through Jan. 1. Violation of the ban would be a Class C misdemeanor, carrying fines of up to $500.

"The threshold established in state law under the Keerch-Bynum Drought Index allows counties to consider restrictive measures at 575 on the index's scale of zero to 800, said Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery. "The index measured exactly 575 on Sunday."

If rain come and the drought index dips below the 575 threshold, the restrictions will lift automatically.

The proposed restrictions would cover the unincorporates areas of Harris County. Fireworks are illegal in the City of Houston. Fireworks other than rockets and missiles, as well as sparklers and poppers, are allowed.

"This is a very unusual year, the drought index is about 400 points higher than it normally is this time of year; this is a precautionary measure," said Montgomery. "Public safety is the top priority for our citizens."

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