Drought, burn ban won’t stop Independence Day celebrations

Dry weather not expecting to alter Independence Day plans.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:33 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The extreme West Texas drought has many residents wondering about Fourth of July celebrations.

Those same residents might be surprised to hear that Midland and Odessa aren’t planning any changes to their Independence Day events.

“Be smart. Have fun. Enjoy the 4th of July,” said Midland County Fire Investigator Rusty Winn.

Being smart is key. Local fire officials are encouraging people to be wary of what’s happening on the ground.

“We expect probably a bigger crowd as well as more activity out in the county for fireworks,” said Odessa Assistant Fire Marshal Omar Galindo.

With COVID in the rearview, Galindo and Winn are ready.

“We hire extra staff,” Galindo said. “We have tankers ready. We have the capability to respond to grass fires or anything that happens.”

While both Midland County and Ector County are under burn bans, Winn says those bans have minimal effect on firework use or sales.

“You can still use fireworks or pop fireworks even though we are still in a burn ban,” Winn said.

There are also obscure rules that residents might not know.

“If you are going to shoot fireworks, you have to be at least 500 feet off of a public roadway, on your property,” Winn added.

As for what officials expect to see on the Fourth?

“We never know,” Galindo said. “It’s always luck of the draw to see what happens.”

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