Certain types of fireworks will be banned in Bell County during New Year celebrations.
Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey said skyrockets mounted on sticks and firework missiles that have fins will not be allowed between Dec. 15 and Jan. 2 due to drought conditions. Anyone caught setting off such fireworks could be cited with a Class C misdemeanor.
Other, more common, aerial fireworks will be permitted.
The decision to ban those fireworks was made at Monday morning's Bell County Commissioners Court meeting, Casey said. Similar decisions have been made before when moisture was limited. Casey said sticks and fins were more likely than other types of fireworks to cause a fire during a drought.
According to the National Weather Service, parts of Bell County were experiencing a moderate drought, while other parts were seeing a severe drought -- including Temple.
Channel 6 Chief Meteorologist Andy Andersen said a lack of rain in September and October has contributed to the dry conditions being seen now. Dryness in the atmosphere, an abundance of frost-damaged dry vegetation and current wind conditions have only elevated the fire risk, according to Andersen.