The fireworks ban in Webb County is in place and now extended through the Fourth of July holiday. Pro 8 News reporter Brenda Medina spoke to local vendors to see how they are dealing with the ban.
“Casita Rosa is Laredo's fireworks tradition and I have seen generations come through here,” said Sunni Storm one of the firework's vendors.
Storm and her family set up shop more than 60 years ago. "Dad brought the fireworks to Laredo and I've been selling and popping fireworks since I was about 6-years-old."
But this upcoming Fourth of July because of the massive drought throughout the state, firework stands in Webb County will be forced to keep their doors closed. Webb County Judge Danny Valdez stresses the ban is crucial to prevent fires like the one in El Cenizo.
"We're concerned that it hasn't rained and just the conditions are set for something to happen if we don't do this,” Valdez said.
Valdez issued a Disaster of Declaration for Webb County specifically prohibiting the use, sale, and discharge of all fireworks beyond city limits. The ban in place since last week recently received the extension approval through July 5th from the Texas Governor. "I think the governor was swamped with requests from disaster of declarations,” added Valdez. “I know that the other counties were doing the same thing."
"The one time that you're not working, it's very drastic and we certainly are going to feel it in our pocket books,” Storm said.
July 4th and New Year's season is the money maker for vendors in town.
However, despite losing a portion of their seasonal income, Storm said she agrees the ban is necessary. "We have always stressed that safety comes first,” Storm said.
Once the summer wraps up, Storm said she's working on having a designated area in the county during the holidays where everyone can pop fireworks. "Bigger municipalities and cities have done it around the country and I would love to help our city have a recreation area."
The City has approved firework displays on Fourth of July at the Alexander Estates Crossing located in the Conservatory River and at the Laredo Country Club.
Anyone else caught popping fireworks could face a hefty fine.