UPDATE 7/1: As a result of the worsening drought conditions, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego has used his powers to issue a Declaration of Local Disaster banning the sale and use of fireworks beginning at noon on Friday, July 3 and through the July Fourth weekend. Read more HERE.

Despite the continuing presence of COVID-19, there will not be a fireworks ban this year. El Paso County Commissioners have reluctantly approved the sale of fireworks in El Paso County.

Because the Declaration of Local Disaster having to do with fireworks sales that is on the books only pertains to drought conditions, there is very little El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego can do. The Keetch-Byram Drought Index is what is used to determine potential fire risks due to drought conditions. It must reach at least 575 points in order for a ban to be realized. And since drought conditions did not reach the minimum limit required for a Fourth of July ban, El Pasoans will be able to pop fireworks outside city limits on the fourth.

Beginning on Wednesday, June 24 through midnight on July 4 you'll be able to stock up on black cats, Roman Candles, screaming mimis, lady fingers, fuzz buttles, snicker bombs, finger blasters, gut busters, zippity do das, crap flappers, spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don'ts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers -- with or without the scooter stick- and whistlin' kitty chasers.

Keep in mind, the green light to pop pertains to areas in the county only. You still cannot shoot, possess or buy fireworks inside El Paso city limits.

COVID-19, however, will change the way fireworks are sold and enjoyed this year. Per County Judge Samaniego, gatherings of more than 10 are not allowed, and vendors will be required to follow certain guidelines such as encouraging social distancing and limiting the number of people who gather at the stand at one time.

The Health Authority Order regarding fireworks buying and selling will be published at EPStrong.org.