Georgians, rejoice! Dust off your roman candles and bottle rockets for the New Year’s holiday, because Gov. Nathan Deal has lifted his ban on the use of fireworks in many areas of Georgia.
In November, Deal prohibited the use of fireworks in much of the state when he expanded a drought declaration to 110 counties, including much of metro Atlanta, due to the spread of wildfires.
But after the end of Atlanta’s 42-day, record-breaking streak without rain, the State Forestry Commission and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has decided that Atlanta and surrounding areas have received enough rainfall to rescind the order.
According to the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, consumer fireworks no longer pose a threat to the state thanks to the increased precipitation seen in recent weeks. The ban was officially lifted on Dec. 20.
Now, locals can enjoy outdoor camp fires and light up the sky to ring in the New Year.
And for the record, the governor’s ban never applied to New Year’s Eve. Under state law, fireworks are allowed on New Year’s Eve and July 4th no matter how dry conditions are.
What types of fireworks are typically legal in Georgia?
A 2015 Georgia law legalized many types of consumer fireworks, including bottle rockets, Roman candles, sky rockets, firecrackers, sparklers and more. If you're 18 or older, you can legally buy and use these types of fireworks, but if you're younger than 16, it's illegal for you to possess fireworks. It's also illegal to use them while you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Read more
Where and when can you set off fireworks?
Georgia law allows private use of fireworks between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on most days. Exceptions are made for Dec. 31 and July 3 and 4, when fireworks can be set off until 11:59 p.m., and for Jan. 1, when they can be set off until 1 a.m.
These limits can be extended by local municipalities. In addition, if you live in a community governed by a homeowners association, check with the HOA, which may by law set its own restrictions, including a complete ban.
There are a few places where it's illegal to set off fireworks. At or near a gas station, for example. They are also banned in a public road, right-of-way or park. You also can't use them within 100 yards of gas stations, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, nuclear power facilities, electric power plants or water treatment facilities.
Mary Caldwell contributed to this article.