An apparent mix up in dates prevented Howard County commissioners from passing a ban on fireworks Monday morning, forcing officials to instead rely on informal requests that firework vendors not sell rockets that include sticks and fins.
Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan informed commissioners of the situation Monday morning during the court's regular meeting.
“The state fire marshall's office mandates any ban on fireworks has to be passed a minimum of 15 days before the fireworks go on sale,” Sullivan told the court. “Fireworks are set to go on sale Dec. 21, so there's no way we can enforce the ban, even if the court chose to pass it today.”
Sullivan said he has spoken with several local fireworks vendors, requesting they abstain from selling rockets that include sticks or fins this holiday season.
“The vendors I've talked to have all been very cooperative, and are willing to help us on this matter,” Sullivan said. “The problem with those particular rockets are they can go long distances, well out of someone's sight. However, make no mistake about it, a roman candle can start a fire just as fast, or even faster.”
According to County Judge Mark Barr, the letter he received from the state told county officials they could pass the ban as long as it was done by Dec. 15.
“I'm not sure what the mix up was,” Barr said. “We'll just have to do the best we can in the meantime.”