El Paso firework sales allowed, recent rains help drought conditions

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)– With the recent rainfall in El Paso, firework sales were given the green light by El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

Samaniego announced Thursday the final decision to allow families to pop fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county was made after the Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) dropped to 544 on Thursday.

The KBDI determines fire potential and the threshold to ban fireworks begins at 575. El Paso was the second-driest county in Texas, with 715 on the KBDI scale in late May.

Despite recent rainfall, sales of “sticks and fins” fireworks are still banned. On May 20, the County voted to restrict sales of fireworks with sticks and missiles, also known as “sticks and fins,” which they said are some of the most prone to catching on fire.

Firework stand owners tell KTSM the rain is a gamechanger for them.

“With this weather, it has helped a lot to keep consistently selling, people see the weather and they are not afraid to pop them outside city limits so there’s not going to be any fires,” Ernie Salcido, the owner of Heat Fireworks in Montana Vista said.

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