Follow Fireworks Rules and Regulations

Because of all the rain that's fallen this month, Angelina County is no longer in drought status. That means no fireworks will be banned this Fourth of July.

County commissioners have the authority to ban restricted fireworks - skyrockets with sticks, missiles with fins and others that are propelled into the air - but they can only prohibit those fireworks under certain weather conditions, like the severe drought Angelina County has been in for months.

The summer fireworks season is less than two weeks long, but during that time, East Texas fireworks vendors will sell thousands of dollars worth of sparklers, bombs and other colorful noisemakers.

Vendor John Harvey said, "A lot of customers don't know that you can buy fireworks in the State of Texas only certain times of the year, but you can pop them year 'round."

But no matter how much you spend on your Fourth of July display, police will confiscate them and fine you if they catch you setting them off inside the city limits.

Lt. David Young said, "The small poppers and the throw-down poppers are not listed as fireworks under the ordinance, so those are okay to possess inside the city. Anything that explodes or goes up in the air is going to be a violation of city ordinance."

Lt. Young said he's seen people pop fireworks in some of the most inappropriate places, including busy city streets, apartment complex parking lots and other off limit areas. Because of improper usage and preventable accidents, the state is putting a stop to the sale of certain fireworks.

"After the 2007 season, the pop rockets will be outlawed," Harvey said. "So this will be the last year that you'll be able to buy pop rockets."

Remember, when using any kind of fireworks, be sure to follow the instructions on the label and never shoot off fireworks indoors.

The fines for shooting off fireworks inside the city limits vary, but they can be as much as $500. And the age limit to legally purchase fireworks has been raised from 12 to 16.