Photo by Aaron Ricca.
KINGMAN – For the first time since 2014, Mohave County has banned fireworks on public and private land. While the City of Kingman already bans the use of fireworks in city limits, Bill 1158 stops the sale of them.
“Bill 1158 says whenever a government agency, federal or state, issues Stage 1 restrictions for our area, we can enact the sales prohibition,” Assistant Kingman Fire Chief Keith Eaton said. “It’s not something we do every year. We did it in 2014. We didn’t in 2015 and 2016.”
With the ban in effect, all fireworks at Kingman’s Walmart were off the shelves by Thursday evening.
Eaton suggested residents attend the city’s 4th of July celebration. The gates at the Mohave County Fairgrounds open at 7 p.m. Tuesday and fireworks start at 9 p.m.
“Those are the only ones that are legal,” Eaton said. “It’s a professional show and we approved those fireworks with inspections.”
Eaton didn’t know what residents can do if they already purchased fireworks, but according to an article in the Mohave Daily News, consumer fireworks are legal in Bullhead City through July 6.
However, Eaton knows that every year Kingman residents still use fireworks despite the ban and he expects the same thing to happen this year.
“We always have people shooting off illegal fireworks and, of course, there is a fine that goes along with that,” Eaton said. “But that’s just something that we constantly have.”
If caught violating the ban, individuals can be fined up to a $750 and/or serve up to four months in jail. Even those who decide to go outside city limits can face penalties, but Eaton said the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office handles those cases.
While Eaton couldn’t report specific numbers on firework use outside city limits, he is well aware of the fact that it does happen a lot.
“I do know that there are quite a few fireworks set off outside the city limits and I do know that people buy them in town and take them outside the city limits,” Eaton said. “They buy them in town and use them in town. It’s just the nature of it. It is illegal, but people still do it. We just hold our breath every year hoping that nothing big comes from it.”
Burn permit restrictions
In addition to fireworks, burn permits have also been nixed.
In June, the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River District, issued a Stage 1 fire restriction.
On Tuesday, Mohave County Emergency Management and the Mohave County Board of Supervisors issued Stage 2 fire restrictions for the entire county.
These bans include the prohibition of the sale of consumer fireworks as addressed in House Bill 1158. The ban also rescinds any open burn permits issued by the City of Kingman within the last 30 days. No burn permit applications will be accepted until further notice.
According to Assistant Kingman Fire Chief Keith Eaton, based on this direction, the City of Kingman is instituting a fire burn ban effective immediately.
Backyard fire pits are not affected by this ban.
For more information, contact the Kingman Fire Department at 928-753-2891.