Buying and selling fireworks has been illegal in El Paso County for five years, but this year, the drought index might not be high enough to call a ban before they go on sale. El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said if the drought index hits 575 before the June 24th start date to sell fireworks, Escobar said she would call for a ban again this year.

The index was at 491 yesterday, but within two weeks is expected to climb to 545. Escobar has already been meeting with first responders, including the El Paso Sheriff’s Office, the fire marshal, and the Office of Emergency Management.

I think Judge Escobar should make the decision now. The trash, the fire potential, the invasion of thousands of people in Montana Vista and other points in the County, the strain on first responders to keep up with all that - the best course of action is to ban the fireworks now and let everyone complain and get it out of the way. We live in a desert and the risk of fire is a risk that we don't need to take.

Ban the fireworks, Judge Escobar!