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New law, ban lifted, fireworks still illegal and dangerous

By Johnny Hernandez

La Prensa de San Antonio.- With the much rain the city has received since September, Bexar County has lifted the fireworks burn ban, but residents need to remember that it is still illegal and dangerous to use fireworks within the city limits.

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“Within the City of San Antonio, there’s always a ban, but the County has lifted their ban this year,” said Asst. Chief Earl Clayton, San Antonio Fire Department, at a recent press conference reminding the public of fireworks safety, dangers and new laws.

“There’s a new law that went into effect September 1, 2009, which basically added a reckless intent to the arson stature,” said Ross Coleman, acting Bexar County Fire Marshal. “So if you went out with the intent to have a good time and you set off an aerial firework that straightaway catches a field, vehicle or structure on fire, you can still be charged with arson.”

If you break the law in Bexar County by setting off fireworks illegally, which means shooting them from moving vehicles, aiming them at pedestrians and setting them off within 600 feet of a church, school or hospital without written authorization, you will be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor with fines of up to $2,000.

You can use fireworks legally within Bexar County, but there are no safe zones sponsored by the fireworks companies this year.
“They felt that since the drought index did not reach the level for any type of aerial band to be put into use, they didn’t sponsor any safe zones this year,” said Coleman.

It is recommended that you use them on pavement, in an area away from houses and tall grass fields, and keep some kind of fire extinguishing supplies nearby.

“Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby, and if you light a ‘dud’ firework don’t re-light it,” Coleman recommended. “Set it aside for about 10 to 15 minutes then soak it in water. When you’re done with all of your fireworks, soak them in a bucket of water as well.”

The misdemeanor charges and fines will also apply…

Finish reading New law, ban lifted, fireworks still illegal and dangerous

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