Due to dry weather conditions in Las Cruces that are expected to continue through the Fourth of July holiday, and worsening drought conditions across much of New Mexico, City officials are urging Las Cruces residents to use fireworks safely.
On Tuesday June 16, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order, because approximately 75 percent of New Mexico, including Las Cruces and Doña Ana County, is abnormally dry and more than half the state is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions. Significant portions of the state are in a severe or extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor
In consideration of the current condition, City officials stress that the use of fireworks within the city limits of Las Cruces follow the safest practices possible. City officials request the use of fireworks be limited to areas that are paved or barren and that have a readily accessible source of water for use by homeowners or the general public. COVID safe practices and the State Public Health Order are still in place to include limiting the numbers of people gathering and practicing social distances.
The annual City of Las Cruces Fourth of July Celebration will go the way of many public events at this time – canceled spectator and large group events due to the continuing virus pandemic. While the traditional Electric Light Parade and Community Concert will not take place this year, the City of Las Cruces is still planning a celebration to commemorate our national holiday in a safe and enjoyable way.
The Parks and Recreation Department is planning a Virtual Electric Photo Parade with a salute to our local heroes including first responders, medical workers, and all essential workers who have kept our community going through this pandemic. The Las Cruces community can participate by submitting photos showing their patriotic spirit in several categories. Winners will be chosen in each category and all photos will be showcased in a virtual slideshow parade on the City’s YouTube channel, YouTube.com/clctv20. Details will be announced later this week.
This year’s Fourth of July event may also provide, if allowable under the current public health order, the community with a firework display from a location in Las Cruces that is widely visible by as many neighborhoods as possible. If not possible, additional options are being reviewed.
The governor’s Economic Recovery Council’s business reopening and COVID Safe Practices subcommittee supports the advised restrictions, noting the worsening drought conditions and the added urgency of preventing wildfires during COVID-19.
The Governor’s request follows other restrictions already in place:
- On May 13, the New Mexico state forester banned outdoor smoking, open campfires and fireworks for non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands.
- The federal Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have each imposed Stage II fire restrictions on many federal lands in the state.
- Several tribal governments, including the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Navajo Nation, have also acted swiftly to impose significant fire restrictions on their lands.