The dry summer months have arrived, and with them come the increased risk of fires starting. For the Town of Oro Valley, the threat is considered serious enough to reenact a ban on consumer fireworks.
An ordinance passed by Oro Valley Town Council on June 6, 2011 allows for a temporary ban on fireworks until conditions improve as deemed by the Town, which will consult with Golder Ranch Fire Chief Randy Karrer in making that determination.
Last year, the ban during the summer months was lifted in fall.
“Now, unfortunately, those conditions are back with our current situation,” said Oro Valley Town Manager Greg Caton. “In consultation with the fire chief, this ordinance is back in effect, effective June 15, and will remain so until conditions improve.”
Oro Valley’s decision to enforce the restrictions aligns with the policies in place at the state and county level.
The Town of Marana has not implemented a ban on consumer fireworks, according to town spokesman Rodney Campbell.
“We didn’t have any issues last year,” he said. “It seems for the most part people will leave it up to the professionals.” Each year, Marana holds its fireworks show, the Star Spangled Spectacular, at the Arizona Pavilions District located near Interstate 10 and Cortaro Road.
“We had a really huge turnout last year, and we expect the same this year,” said Campbell.
According to Adam Goldberg, a spokesman for Northwest Fire District, staff at the event, including commercial vendors, will be pyrotechnics certified.
“We work very closely with Northwest Fire,” said Campbell. “We have all the equipment there in case we need anything. If there are any issues, we have Northwest Fire officials present at the event.”
Goldberg warns consumer fireworks users to use extreme caution, particularly given the dry conditions.
“Be aware of where you are firing them (fireworks) off,” he said. “Make sure it is an open area, not near a home, desert fields or fuel. “If using matches as a lighter, make sure you keep track of where they are. Keep water and a fire extinguisher nearby, and make sure to use eye protection.”
Goldberg also warned that not all fireworks are manufactured perfectly, increasing the chances of sporadic ignition and injury.