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Parker County restricting residents from shooting off fireworks due to drought conditions

The order does not prohibit the sale of fireworks and does not impact the local public fireworks shows in Weatherford or Hudson Oaks.

PARKER COUNTY, Texas — A North Texas county is prohibiting its citizens from setting off fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend due to its current weather situation.

Parker County Judge Pat Deen signed an Emergency Declaration of a local state of disaster Tuesday due to severe drought conditions. In this declaration, it said Texans will be prohibited from setting off any fireworks within Parker County "effective immediately" because of the "imminent threat of individuals discharging fireworks into dry grass, trees and brush."

The order does not prohibit the sale of fireworks and does not impact the local public fireworks shows in Weatherford or Hudson Oaks.

Parker County's emergency declaration and prohibition will be in effect for 60 hours and will run through midnight on Thursday. Both have been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott, and county leaders are requesting the governor extend the declaration and prohibition of setting off fireworks until July 5.

“Due to extreme drought and fire conditions across Parker County, it is critical we consider the potential threat that the private use of fireworks could cause to our residents, property and first responders," Deen said. "In celebrating Independence Day, please consider attending one of the approved public display shows in Parker County.”

RELATED: Buying fireworks in North Texas? Here's what is (and isn't) allowed and where

Currently in Parker County, 100% of the county is listed as "abnormally dry," and 67% is classified as "in severe drought," according to county leaders. 

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index maintained by Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Texas A&M Forest Service is an index that is used to determine fire potential. As of Monday, the current Keetch-Byram Drought Index in Parker County is 590.

Parker County has and will continue to experience wildfires across the county with local fire departments responding to 28 wildfires within the past seven days and 61 wildfires so far in June.

“Parker County is very dry and we are concerned about individuals discharging fireworks starting fires and endangering people, livestock and property," Sean Hughes said, who is the Parker County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator. "This is a safety measure for all of Parker County and we fully support this declaration.” 

All Parker County residents are being asked to not discharge personal fireworks until the county has had more rain.

For more information about this declaration, residents are asked to contact the Parker County Fire Marshal’s office at (817)598-0969.

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