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Las Cruces firework restrictions for safe 4th of July

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) --You're likely looking forward to the colorful firework displays that will ignite the sky this Independence Day. Fireworks are banned within  El Paso city limits and partially banned in El Paso county, but Doña Ana County and Las Cruces are dealing with different restrictions.

"Usually a firework ban is triggered by extreme drought conditions. We are in extreme drought conditions right now," said Danny Medrano Sunland Park Fire Chief.

That's why Las Cruces prohibits the sale and use of certain fireworks through July 6.

The city has banned missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, stick-type rockets, and ground audible devices like chasers and firecrackers.

And even though Doña Ana County is dealing with the same drought conditions, Commissioners voted 3 to 2 to not implement increased fireworks restrictions. 

"I think the restrictions are there mainly to prevent and reduce the potential for wildfires across Doña Ana county. I think we can all attest we haven't had any rain over the past year," Manuel A. Sanchez, District 4 Commissioner.

Municipalities like Anthony, Mesilla, and Hatch still have the power to set their own rules.

"Even if we prohibit the sale of fireworks in the unincorporated parts of the county, we still have municipalities that are going to allow the sale of aerial fireworks. To me, it doesn't make sense. We're just batting down someone that happens to be in the unincorporated part of the county as supposed to a municipality," said Susana Chaparro, District 5 Commissioner.

Firework stands with a permit are only allowed to sell legal fireworks. For Doña Ana County that means all fireworks except unpredictable aerial-prone ones. All others are considered safe to enjoy.

"Back 10-15 years ago, the technology wasn't there to control these as well. Technologies have actually gotten a lot better in building fireworks. So what a fireworks do is actually do what it's supposed to do," said Medrano.

Medrano says the fire department will work to keep the community safe. 

"We do regular patrols and just, you know, just make sure that, you know, people are enjoying fireworks in a safe manner and they're not getting too close to buildings or where brush may be able to ignite and possibly move over to damage structures," said Medrano.

If you do plan on popping your own fireworks you are encouraged to do safely.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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