Officials with the Amarillo Fire Department are warning west Texans against setting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Firework possession, storage, handling and distribution is always illegal inside city limits, but this year, fireworks are illegal in the county too.
“Well under normal circumstances outside of the city limits yes people can shoot off fireworks,” Captain Larry Davis explained. “But Potter and Randall counties are under a burn ban right now and it is illegal to do that out in the county as well.”
Only eight counties in the Texas panhandle are not under a burn ban. Amarillo is also setting records, with 77 days of no measurable moisture, which increases our risk for wildfires.
“You know the problems we have, especially with the fireworks,” Captain Davis continued. “Is these fireworks they emit sparks. Some of them go up in the air and whenever they do we have absolutely no control over where they go. They can easily start fires several hundred from where you are. With everything, we have had a run of dry weather and with everything as dry as it is, it’s just going to be catastrophic.”
Sergeant Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department said fines for having fireworks inside limits can reach up to $2,000. There are also fines and citations for setting off fireworks in the county during a burn ban.