Severe drought leads to fireworks restrictions in Doña Ana County

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Following extreme drought conditions throughout Doña Ana County, the Board of County Commissioners has passed a proclamation to temporarily restrict the use of fireworks for 30 days starting on June 8. The proclamation includes the Fourth of July weekend.

Doña Ana County references the National Weather Service and the United States Forest Service in a press release stating the county is experiencing severe or exceptional drought conditions and that the trend is expected to continue through July.

“We want to prevent fires in the dangerous conditions we are experiencing. Fires can spread quickly in the dry and windy conditions typical to Doña Ana County,” said Fire Chief Shannon Cherry in the press release. “Help u keep our community safe and use fireworks safely and conscientiously.”

The county states that the types of fireworks allowed include cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches, toy smoking devices, and wheels. To prevent fires, fireworks can only be set off within the unincorporated areas of Doña Ana County where water is readily available or areas are paved or barren and far away from vegetation, timber, brush, or native grass.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends leaving fireworks to the professionals this Independence Day and offers the following ideas as alternatives:

  • Use glow sticks as a safe alternative to sparklers which are also fun for all ages
  • Try noisemakers as they also make a statement and can be found at local party supply stores or handmade
  • Celebrate with an outdoor movie night using a screen and projector
  • Have fun with red, white, and blue silly string
  • Create a patriotic craft with the family
  • Throw a birthday party for the USA and include cake

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