Firefighters warn of fireworks, more than 1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized from Mesa
MESA, AZ – More than 1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks were seized from a local business in Mesa. The announcement took place a few days before the July 4th holiday.
Firefighters are now warning the community of the dangerousness of fireworks, especially this fire season. Their recommendation is pretty clear, they don’t want anyone to use fireworks, whether legal or illegal.
“We want our citizens to know that when using fireworks of any kind, they have to be very careful. Make sure that if you trigger them, make sure you are away from everything, no brush, not next to a building or brush that can catch fire, ”said David Ramirez, spokesperson for the Phoenix Fire Department.
Ramirez understands that fireworks are a tradition, but says he highly recommends leaving that to the professionals and opting to watch them in a park or at home instead. He says fireworks can start forest fires. Other experts say the wildfires are putting Arizona in dire straits.
“I have never seen fire conditions in a state that I can remember, never like this,” said Jim Cross, a reporter who has covered wildfires for decades.
According to official data, this year alone our state has experienced 1,013 forest fires so far.
With 1,000 fires so early in the season, Arizona is on track to break a record.
“In Utah last year, 500 acres of wilderness was burnt due to the use of fireworks. So just be aware of where you are using, what is around you, if it is dry brush, please do not use fireworks, we no longer need fires in our state Ramirez said.
The National Fire Prevention Association says 49% of fires reported on July 4 started with fireworks.
“It’s fun and there are a lot of legal options, but people really have to remember that there is always an element of danger,” said Andy Williams of the Phoenix Police Department.
Williams says they will monitor reports of illegal fireworks on this holiday.
“In the heat of the moment on July 4, if we receive calls about people potentially using illegal fireworks, our patrol officers will answer them.”
But with so many people using fireworks on this day, can the rules in place even be enforced?
“If we get a lot of these calls at the same time it can be difficult, but we’ll do our best to answer those calls and respond to the community,” said Williams.
Williams says using illegal fireworks is a class one misdemeanor, and you could end up paying a fine of up to $ 1,000.
But there is also an important part to emphasize, the injuries.
“If you have a wound or burn or something like that, keep it clean, don’t put water on it, just call 911. Remember to know how extremely hot these fireworks get. and be sure, ”Ramirez said.
If you do decide to buy fireworks, it is important to make sure you celebrate with legal fireworks.
Click here for a list of Phoenix Police recommendations.