As fireworks stands open for summer business, the Cedar Park Fire Department reminds everyone that most fireworks are illegal in and around Cedar Park. In addition to potentially starting a fire, fireworks can result in serious injuries, particularly to children.
“The best way to stay safe is to not use fireworks at all,” Cedar Park Fire Chief James Mallinger says. “I recommend that anyone who wants to enjoy fireworks instead attend the City of Cedar Park’s professional fireworks display at Elizabeth Milburn Park.”
The City’s Fourth of July fireworks display at Milburn Park, located at 1901 Sun Chase Boulevard, will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.
Chief Mallinger adds that because Cedar Park has many fire service areas which are not part of the city per se, it is important for area residents to understand the law, especially as it pertains to areas outside of city limits.
“Even though State law allows for the sale of fireworks immediately adjacent to the City limits, that same State law makes them illegal to use in the City limits,” Mallinger said.
Mallinger added that Cedar Park’s ordinance also makes fireworks illegal just outside of the City — within 5,000 feet of City limits — without a special permit.
The Cedar Park Fire Department responds to several areas of Travis and Williamson Counties, which are not in the city limits but are part of the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Fireworks are illegal in those ETJ areas served by CPFD.
The City of Cedar Park has a zero tolerance policy regarding fireworks, meaning police must issue citations to any violators. Punishment for possessing fireworks can be up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000 plus court costs.
Police and firefighters will be patrolling areas for illegal fireworks, both inside and outside of the city limits during the July Fourth holiday.
Since July Fourth means an uptick in outdoor activity and celebrations, Mallinger reminds everyone of the hot, dry weather conditions so far this summer that have increased fire danger.
“In spite of recent rainfall we’re still at risk,” said Mallinger. “The summer heat makes any moisture that we’ve received evaporate quickly and puts us back to those dry conditions that are ripe for a wildfire. We want everyone to use extreme care with simple things, from outdoor grilling to discarding a cigarette, and remember that a small spark can quickly turn into a fire.”