Pastors Mike Tracy and Andrea Womack are not the least miffed with the amount of rain that has swept over Central Texas lately. In fact, the leaders of New Beginnings Church in Harker Heights couldn’t be happier if Noah’s Ark itself was needed to weather a rainstorm.
The reason for their elation? No burn ban this Fourth of July. New Beginnings Church operates a large fireworks warehouse in Nolanville.
“We hope that with no burn ban, we will sell a lot more fireworks,” Tracy said. “A percentage of the proceeds gets donated to the church, so we are out here to volunteer and have fun.”
Tracy said cities have their own rules governing fireworks within city limits. He advised purchasers to know their local laws before lighting a single fuse.
“You can’t light them in any of these cities, we know that,” he said. “We have rules too. We can only sell them from June 24 to July 4 and around the New Year. It’s very strict, but when you do it right, it’s a blast.”
Womack and Tracy can’t recommend safe locations for lighting fireworks, but local fire departments can.
“Citizens can call any of the local departments and ask where the safe zones to light them are,” Tracy said. “They will be more than happy to tell you where to go.”
According to a news release from Kevin Keller, Copperas Cove spokesman, all fireworks are banned in Cove and any use of them will result in fines.
Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Carroll Smith echoed those statements.
“They are banned in the city of Killeen,” she said. “If an officer sees you lighting them, they will be confiscated and the individual will receive a citation.”
According to a Harker Heights’ ordinance, the possession of fireworks is illegal in the city limits and anyone seen with them will have the fireworks confiscated and could be issued fines of up to $2,000.
Trooper Harpin Myers, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said he would like to see adults act responsibly with fireworks, especially on the highway.
“We’ve had issues with people sending fireworks back-and-forth over (U.S.) Highway 190,” he said. “They park their cars and watch the Fort Hood fireworks on the side of the road. They aren’t supposed to, but they do.
“The ones who send them over the highway like that just don’t realize what could happen if a bottle rocket went though a moving vehicle’s open window.”
Contact James Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7554.