Fireworks sales

Firework seller Dana Everett tears off the top of cardboard box containing fireworks inside her stand on FM 439 near Lake Belton in 2017.

Eager to buy fireworks? Wednesday will be your first chance to do so.

Bell County residents can buy fireworks beginning Wednesday through Monday for the Memorial Day weekend.

The Commissioners Court unanimously decided last week to allow the sale of fireworks for the upcoming holiday weekend.

This is one of several holidays that commissioners courts have discretion to prohibit the sale of fireworks. The other holidays are Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day and Cinco de Mayo, according to the Texas Association of Counties.

“The others — the Fourth of July, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day — we cannot prohibit unless there are drought conditions put forth,” Bell County Judge David Blackburn said.

Earlier this year, the Milam County Commissioners Court disapproved a request to sell fireworks for Texas Independence Day in March, according to the Cameron Herald. They cited dry conditions for their disapproval.

After several rainy days, Bell County is anything but dry right now. The county has seen an average of .72 inches of rain in the past seven days, according to data collected by the United States Geological Survey from five rainfall monitoring sites.

Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey said the county is nowhere near indicating a 575 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index — which measures moisture depletion. That number is the point at which a county can order a burn ban.

On Tuesday, Bell County was measuring an average of 71 on the index, with a minimum of 44 and a maximum of 123. The higher the number, the drier an area is.

These figures represent an increase from the numbers from May 13 when the commissioners approved the sale of fireworks.

If you plan to buy fireworks and live in Temple or Belton, it is against city ordinances to possess, transport or light fireworks inside city limits.

Fireworks should only be ignited outside city limits. Residents have to be wary of dry vegetation — which should be removed — in the area they choose to light fireworks.