County to allow some fireworks

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By Bennett Horne

A proclamation enacted by the Los Alamos County Council details restrictions on the use of fireworks while the county remains under the current Stage 3 fire restrictions.

The proclamation was presented during the council’s June 12 meeting. It did not address the subject of an organized Fourth of July fireworks display.

“A decision on the Fourth of July fireworks will be made by Friday, June 29,” said Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Steven Dawald.

The proclamation detailed the type of fireworks that can be used and where they can be used. The restrictions were imposed as a result of the extremely dry conditions in Los Alamos, as well as the fact those conditions are likely to continue – and even deteriorate – over the next 30 days.

The proclamation states that “heavy fuel loading, low humidity, heat and wind forecasts in the county increase the danger of wildland, brush, grass and forest fires,” and that these fires “would threaten homes and structures, putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.”

The council, pursuant to the New Mexico Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, has authorization to ban or limit the use and sale of certain fireworks when extreme or severe drought conditions exist as determined by the county council.

The council is thereby prohibiting the sale and use of “aerial fireworks and ground audible fireworks including helicopters, aerial spinners, missile type rockets, stick type rockets, chasers and firecrackers” for a time span of 30 days from when the proclamation was enacted.

The use of roman candles, shells and mines is not prohibited, but is limited within the county to “areas that are paved or barren or that have a readily accessible source of water for use by any homeowner or the public.”

The Los Alamos County Fire Department issued Stage 3 fire restrictions at 8 a.m. June 1. Those restrictions will remain in place until significant moisture and conditions have improved.