Blanco County News
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County, City Ban Use, Sale of Fireworks
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 • Posted June 24, 2011 • Updated June 24, 2011 11:13 AM

At a meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the county commissioners voted to expand the ban to include all fireworks, not just "fins and sticks" or aerial fireworks. The ban, in the form of a disaster declaration for Blanco County, includes prohibition of the sale of fireworks.

"I know everyone is pushing for [a ban]," said Mayor Chuck Homan. The City of Blanco, he reported, follows what the county decides.

This Fourth of July won't be as spectacular, but that's what comes with the drought that is affecting most of the state.

The Blanco-Guadalupe Groundwater Conservation District is currently at Stage 1 drought restrictions. The board will meet later this week, however, to decide on Stage 2 restrictions.

According to Tom Hodge, general manager of the Canyon Lake Water Supply Company, that water system has not issued any drought restrictions.

"Our drought contingency plan is triggered by the level of water in Canyon Lake," Hodge explained in an email. "Canyon Lake is still well over 90% full; the surface is at about 905 feet above mean sea level. Stage 1 restrictions go into effect when the lake reaches 895 feet. We don't expect that to happen for several months, at least."

"The fact that we have invested in a combination of both surface and groundwater sources," Hodge continued, "makes our water system less susceptible to the effects of drought than most other utilities in the area."

The usual effects of the Texas summer can easily be seen and felt–hot temperatures, dead grasses, lost gardens–but the drought has also dried out trees and shrubs. The Texas Forest Service reports that Blanco County, along with a large swath of Texas, is at 3 to 4% of moisture in the fuels (grasses and other plants). Water and moisture in the fuels acts as a fire suppressant, displacing oxygen and turning to steam to carry away the heat.

Without the moisture and water, there's nothing to stop a growing fire. Even the smallest spark can cause a huge wildfire.

225 of Texas' 254 counties are under burn ban and many adding fireworks bans. The drought is being felt statewide, from fires raging throughout the state to canceled Fourth of July fireworks shows, including the show during Johnson City’s Spange Dangle.

To report fireworks, call the Sheriff’s Office at 830-868-7104. In case of a fire, call 911.

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