Fireworks safety as wildfire conditions remain dangerous

Created: 06/23/2014 6:10 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s getting close to the 4th of July. You can tell by the numbers of fireworks tents popping up all over New Mexico, especially in the Albuquerque metro area.

After 4 years of extreme drought, wildfire conditions are still dangerous, but not as bad as the past few years. That’s why firefighters are not planning to close the Rio Grande Bosque right now. Last year they shut down the riverside forest on June 10th.

While fireworks stands are sprouting across the landscape, it’s important to remember that fireworks are always banned in all wild land areas, including the Bosque and the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.  Firefighters want us to set them off on pavement, or on hard-packed dirt with no dead weeds or bushes or anything else that could catch fire.

“Yeah, I try to be safe,” said fireworks customer Andrew Gallegos. “I keep a bucket of water or a hose close by, whatever we need to do. Make it a safe 4th of July!”

Legal fireworks in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are those that fly no higher than 10 feet, or spray sparks in a radius any wider than 6 feet. Nothing louder than a cap pistol.

“If you are lighting illegal fireworks, fire marshals will be out, both in the city and the county,” warned Bernalillo County Fire Department spokesman Larry Gallegos. “They’ll be out patrolling, and if they catch you there are fines, different fines in the city and the county, but there are fines and jail time up to a year.”

All fireworks dealers are subject to spot inspections at any time to make sure everything is strictly by the book and legal.

No fireworks are allowed in any of the National Forests, ever, and that goes for the Bosque too.

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