Some New Mexicans can legally light their fireworks this Independence Day.
There is no statewide ban on fireworks but nearly all New Mexico counties have banned them in unincorporated areas this year because of extra dry weather. For many counties, the ban went into effect weeks ago.
In Bernalillo County, Fire Marshal Chris Gober will be working this 4th of July and he said fireworks make his job harder.
“Fireworks do cause fires,” Gober said, “especially as dry as we have been over the past several years. And then when people use their fireworks improperly they can cause injuries.”
Gober typically sees five or six blazes sparked by fireworks every year, but they are usually put out before they get big. His operation handles fire and rescue for the areas that are outside of Albuquerque’s city limits, like the North and South Valleys, and East Mountain communities where they will be writing tickets without warning for lighting fireworks.
If you live within city limits, however, check with your city for fireworks rules. Many municipalities are allowing sparklers and things that don’t fly or explode, like snakes and smoke bombs, but you should have a bucket of water ready – just in case.
Authorities statewide agree with Gober that the best way for people to celebrate is with their neighbors at a sanctioned public fireworks show. That’s where his family will be while he’s at work.