Some firework sales limited amid historic fire danger in the Four Corners

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – Dry ground cover, prolonged drought and high winds are creating the perfect storm of conditions for fire danger. 

“Right now we are in extreme fire danger, we seeing it in the fuel conditions, our live fuels are stressed, and your dead fuels are bone dry and if we do get a start, the potential of it going big is going to be high,” David Vega, deputy chief of operations for San Juan County Fire and Rescue said.

In the midst of a historic drought, San Juan County Fire and Rescue are doing everything they can to prevent the ground cover from lighting up, and one of those ways is the limiting sale of certain fireworks.

“Those fireworks that 100% leave the ground. So there is no base, no tube, basically, when you light that firework it takes off. So, there is very little idea of where it’s going to go or how it’s going to react, it can fly different directions and end up still being on fire when it comes back down to the ground,“ Chris Cardin, deputy chief of San Juan County Fire and Rescue said.

One less spark could be one less wildfire. 

“Every year we do have several, both wildland fires, (and) several structure fires last year where several people lost their homes or outbuildings due to fireworks being either carelessly used or by juvenile’s using them without being supervised,” Cardin added.

And although people are being asked to have to sacrifice a little fun this year when it comes to lighting fireworks, Cardin said it helps keep the community stay safe, and conserve the resources during an already very busy fire season.

“The wind fuels are very receptive to fire right now and bringing fireworks in, everyone enjoys this time of year, but the way that it is, as dry as it is we just ask people to really be careful,” Cardin said. 

If rain comes to the Four Corners and improves conditions, Cardin said they can always pull back the order if needed.