Fireworks sales have begun within Las Cruces city limits, so the Las Cruces Fire Department is reminding consumers of general guidelines and safety tips for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
By state law, fireworks can be sold from June 20 through July 6.
Fireworks allowed to be purchased and discharged in Las Cruces are ground and hand-held sparkling and smoking devices such as: cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, illuminating torches, smoke devices and wheels.
Fireworks prohibited for possession, sale or use in Las Cruces are aerial and ground audible devices such as: aerial spinners, helicopters, mines, missile-type rockets, Roman candles, shells, stick-type rockets, chasers and firecrackers.
Since fireworks purchased outside Las Cruces may be prohibited within the city it is advised to possess and discharge fireworks only in the jurisdiction where they were purchased. The penalty for use and/or possession of prohibited fireworks in Las Cruces can include a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 90 days incarceration.
Rules and safety guidelines include:
- Fireworks may not be sold to anyone who is intoxicated or younger than 16.
- Keep in mind the hour of usage and be considerate of your neighbors.
- Limit use of fireworks to the outdoors, away from combustibles and to paved or barren land.
- Children should never use fireworks without close adult supervision.
- Light only one pyrotechnic at a time and move a safe distance away while it ignites.
- Purchase fireworks only from a licensed vendor within the municipality they will be used.
- Follow all label directions carefully and use common sense.
- Have a reliable water source, such as a garden hose, available while discharging fireworks.
- Soak used fireworks in a bucket or tub of water, and safely dispose of all spent casings and debris.
- Pet owners should secure their dogs and cats indoors when fireworks are discharged.
Additionally, on June 7 the Las Cruces City Council passed a resolution to declare severe drought conditions within city limits due to very dry weather conditions and ongoing drought. As a result, lighting fireworks in Las Cruces is only allowed on paved or barren surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, or dirt with no vegetation nearby. Otherwise, an immediate water source is required where the fireworks are being used. The restrictions are in effect through July 6.
The Las Cruces Fire Department will schedule increased patrols to target illegal fireworks use and possession, which allows officers to issue citations and confiscate illegal fireworks. Anyone who witnesses the use of illegal fireworks is asked to call the non-emergency number to Mesilla Valley Dispatch Authority at (575) 526-0795. To report an emergency, call 911.