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McLennan County bans firework sales, use in disaster declaration

Like other Central Texas counties, the declaration was issued because of extreme drought conditions.

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — McLennan County is joining the many Central Texas counties that have issued a disaster declaration banning the sale and use of fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July.

Like the other counties, the declaration was issued because of extreme drought conditions. There's also a burn ban in place for the area because of the dry conditions.

"McLennan County has not had significant rainfall for an extended period of time, creating hot and dry conditions which pose the threat of large, dangerous and fast moving wildfires," the declaration reads.

As a result, there's huge potential for wildfires, it adds.

Per the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KDBI) used by Texas A&M Agrilife Research and its Forest Service, McLennan County has a KDBI value of 645 as of June 27 with a max value of 682.

According to the index, above 600 reaffirms severe drought.

"The magnitude of the potential damage and the rapidity with which such a fire could escalate to major proportions constitute an imminent threat of disaster; and... declaration of such disaster authorizes the imposition of controls on activities which tend to increase the likelihood of fires," the declaration reads.

By imposing a firework ban, McLennan County claims it will help protect the public and lives from potential dangerous fires.

The declaration is expected to expire a week after it was issued unless it's renewed or issued a continuance.

The only fireworks that will be allowed are "commercially done displays by a bonded professional company," so like city-held displays.

Anyone who violates this declaration will receive a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $500.

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