If you ever thought the year needed more firework-worthy holidays for Texans to celebrate, the Texas legislature granted your wish last June by passing the Texas House Bill 1150. With this bill the legislate approved three additional holidays to light up the skies with holiday cheer: Texas Independence Day (March 2), San Jacinto Day (April 21) and Memorial Day (May 30). The action was then approved for the county by the Angelina County Commissioners. What this means is that legal firework dealers throughout Angelina County will now be open for business, and firework enthusiasts will legally be able to fire off their firecrackers.... • beginning February 25 and ending at midnight on March 2; • beginning April 16 and ending at midnight on April 21; • and beginning the Wednesday before the last Monday in May and ending at midnight on the last Monday in May. Just like with the other holidays in Texas that allow fireworks the Texas Forest Service will determine whether drought conditions exist and if they find that they do, the Texas Forest Service shall notify the county or counties when the drought conditions are gone. Sure, fireworks are fun, but it’s also important to be cautious and careful. Here are a few helpful ideas to keep your holiday celebrations safe and ticket free: • It’s illegal to sell or shoot fireworks within 100 feet of a place where flammable liquids, flammable compressed gases or fireworks are sold or stored. …Seems reasonable! • Despite what you may have seen in the movies, it’s illegal to shoot fireworks from or towards a motor vehicle, including boats. • It’s illegal to shoot fireworks from a public roadway, public property, park, lake or U.S. Corps of Engineer Property. …would hate to set a lake on fire… • The minimum age to buy or sell fireworks is generally 16 years old. Though, it should probably be closer to 26 years old. • It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within 600 feet of a church, hospital, day-care center or school. • It’s illegal to shoot fireworks within city limits and, in many cities, it’s also illegal to possess them. Selling, igniting or possessing fireworks within city limits can carry hefty fines approaching $2,000. • In unincorporated areas where fireworks are legal, you may only shoot off fireworks if you own property there, or if you receive written permission from a property owner. A county “burn ban” outside incorporated areas often means a prohibition against shooting fireworks. So, no blowing up the neighbor’s mailbox…without their permission! • If you start a fire by shooting fireworks and it’s found to be started intentionally, you may be charged for arson. If the fire is found to be accidental, you may be subject to a fine. In either case, you could be held civilly liable for damages. So this year, go legally buy your fireworks at the many firework dealers throughout the county and celebrate our Texas Independence Day. Have a great (and safe) Independence Day!
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