Recent brush fires spark reminder about setting off fireworks
City ordinance forbids setting fireworks off within city limits
Recent area brush fires, along with the inferno raging in Colorado Springs, Colo., shows how one spark can lead to devastation.
That's why area fire departments are reminding residents that a Kingman city ordinance makes it illegal to set fireworks off within the city limits, even though it's legal to buy them.
That restriction does not apply to the county, even though departments like Northern Arizona Consolidated and Golden Valley have recently enacted burn bans due to the high-risk conditions.
NACFD Fire Chief Pat Moore said that under the law enacted in 2010, departments cannot ban fireworks as part of a burn ban. Moore said the law needs to be revised, especially when the fire danger is as high as it is now.
"We would ask that people use them in a responsible manner and under adult supervision to decrease the risk," he said.
Kingman Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Keith Eaton said his firefighters recently responded to a fire on Harrod Way where around 1,600 square feet of a yard was burned by kids setting off fireworks they bought at Safeway.
Eaton said that the family was counseled on the ordinance and no citations were issued, although fire departments reserve the right to charge for their response to a fireworks-sparked fire no matter where the fire takes place.
The Arizona Legislature in 2010 approved the sale and use of non-aerial fireworks, such as sparklers and fountains, for those 16 and older. Previously, only novelty items such as snakes and snappers were permitted.
Aerial fireworks such as bottle rockets, roman candles and rockets with reports are still illegal in Arizona unless part of a permitted public display.
As a result of the new law, many municipalities in the state, including Kingman, passed their own ordinances to regulate the use of the now permissible fireworks. Incorporated cities were allowed to regulate the use of fireworks but not their sale.