ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - All counties in the Pineywoods are clear of burn bans this year as East Texans prepare to shoot fireworks in celebration of Independence Day. Currently, only 83 of the 254 counties in Texas are under a burn ban. Most of those counties are in the western part of the state.
One East Texas pastor is looking for heavy profit from fireworks sales this year. Luis Salazar stocks shelves of the latest in fireworks, as he anticipates good sales this year. His selection includes sparklers, smoke balls, and fire crackers.
"It's going to be good. I think people are excited because they didn't get to pop at the fourth of July last year, and they're ready to do it," said Clawson Assembly of God High School Pastor, Luis Salazar.
Each holiday, Salazar spends up to two thousand dollars on goods for his customers. Usually, he profits twice that amount. However, last year's drought brought burn bans across the Pineywoods, prohibiting the sale of fireworks.
"I went and bought fireworks and two days later, they said we couldn't do it," said Salazar.
Salazar says last year's Fourth of July holiday was the first time he was not allowed to sell fireworks in nearly a decade of running the stand.
"In light of somebody buying a firework and setting a house on fire, starting a forest fire, it doesn't compare, you know, at all. So, I totally get it, even though it was a bummer," said Salazar.
So far this year, conditions are already more favorable for fireworks.
"We had a crazy fire season last year. It was deadly. It was devastating, and thankfully we had enough rain this spring to get us out of that severe condition," said Texas Forest Service Fire Prevention Officer Jan Amen.
Salazar and fire officials urge everyone to be cautious, as fireworks are extremely hot. Sparklers alone are more than three times the heat at which you bake a cookie.
"A cookie bakes at 350 and glass will melt at 900. But, a sparkler is 12 hundred degrees," said Salazar.
Salazar says he encourages all customers to follow instructions listed on fireworks. Salazar uses the money raised to fund trips and programs for his church group.
Firework sales began Sunday and will last until midnight on July fourth. If you prefer to just watch a fireworks show, The City of Lufkin and The Law Office of Mike Love will sponsor a fireworks extravaganza held at Ellen Trout Zoo on Independence Day at 9 p.m.