Fireworks stands are popping up around Denton County as the Independence Day holiday drives demand for do-it-yourself pyrotechnics.
Firework sales begin today and will run through July 4, officials said. On average, between 40 and 50 permits are issued for stands that will be located around 17 to 23 areas throughout unincorporated parts of Denton County.
Kenneth Hedges, spokesman for the Denton Fire Department, said it’s illegal to shoot off fireworks within the city limits as well as 5,000 feet out from the city limits.
While fire officials want everyone to have fun, they want people to make sure they know where they can properly shoot off fireworks without getting a hefty fine.
Marc Dodd, investigator with the Denton County fire marshal’s office, said it’s illegal to shoot fireworks in most locations within the county, so double-checking with the county or the city you live in before purchasing is the safest option.
He said residents can discharge fireworks in unincorporated parts of Denton County, or on the property of someone who lives in an unincorporated part of the county with the owner’s written permission.
County officials said it’s illegal to shoot off any firecrackers in a public roadway, park, lake or U.S. Corps of Engineers property or from a moving vehicle or boat. You also may not shoot off fireworks within 600 feet of a hospital or health care center, school or church, or within 100 feet of a gas station or fuel dispensing facility.
Shooting fireworks from a boat or moving vehicle can cost violators up to $500 in fines.
In addition, officials urge residents to check the daily fire danger status on the county’s website, www.dentoncounty.com/burncontrol, or by calling 940-349-2840. Not only is it extremely dangerous and illegal to shoot off fireworks on a day a burn ban is in effect, it could land residents in jail.
Most fireworks-related fines, Dodd said, are Class C misdemeanors and may vary on charges that could also include littering, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
MEGAN GRAY-HATFIELD can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.