County Commission Issues Fireworks Restrictions

The Sandoval County Commission has issued a proclamation restricting the sale and use of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county through July 15, 2015.

The proclamation was passed at a special commission meeting on Monday, June 15, 2015. The fireworks restrictions were requested by Sandoval County Fire Chief James Maxon, who said he wanted to take this precaution leading up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which traditionally is a time of heavy fireworks use.

“The spring rains did help alleviate the severe drought conditions we’ve experienced over the past several years,” Chief Maxon told the commission. “However, we still have a long way to do to be completely out of the drought. And if we get a few hot days without precipitation before the 4th of July, which the National Weather Service is actually predicting, that could create a dangerous situation.”

The chief also noted that New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez sent a letter to local officials across the state on June 5, 2015 asking them to consider fireworks bans over the holiday weekend, and he felt it prudent to follow that suggestion in Sandoval County.

The Sandoval County proclamation imposes the following restrictions:

• Bans the sale and use of missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, stick-type rockets and ground audible devices within the unincorporated areas of the county.
• Limits the use of ground and hand-held sparking and smoke device type fireworks to areas that are paved or barren or that have a readily accessible source of water for use by the homeowner or general public.
• Bans the use of all fireworks in all of the wildlands in the unincorporated areas of the county.
• Bans the sale or use of display fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The fireworks ban will be will be enforced by the Sandoval County Fire Marshal and the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone found in violation will be subject to arrest and penalties up to and including a $300 fine and 90 days in jail.

While these restrictions are in place through July 15, 2015, Chief Maxon said he will consider asking the commission to extend them if conditions warrant.