AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin's signature Fourth of July event will not light up the sky this year.
Travis County Fire Department and the Austin Fire Department have agreed to deny all permits for public firework displays due to extreme drought and temperatures.
"We just cannot take that risk," said Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr. "We are not comfortable putting our citizens, firefighters, and communities at that type of risk."
Travis County Fire Marshall Hershel Lee says in past years, public displays have been the safe alternative to purchased fireworks and firecrackers, but the drought has changed that.
"Typically, we encourage people to go out and watch the displays but this year is just not safe," said Lee.
Three permits in Austin and two more in the Pflugerville area will be denied, including other traditional public fireworks displays on Lake Travis.
The Austin Symphony, which performs at the annual firework show, says this is the first time in the event's 35-year history with no fireworks. An alternative show, possibly laser lights, will be considered.
For more information, contact Travis County Fire Marshal Hershel Lee at 512-854-4621. Both fire departments are asking the public to dial 3-1-1 for any firework related calls this holiday rather than 9-1-1.
Thursday Pflugerville also announced it too will cancel the annual Pfirecracker Pfestival held at Lake Pflugerville.
"The city of Pflugerville regrets having to cancel the event," said City Manager Brandon Wade. "We agree that the possible wildfire danger from the recurring winds and embers could be extremely dangerous to the properties around the lake as well as posing significant threats to festival attendees. We support the Travis County Fire Marshal's Office and the Pflugerville Fire Department in the decision to not issue permits for outdoor displays."
The lake will be open for public use, however no fireworks will be permitted.
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