Martinez urges July 4 fireworks ban amid drought

July 3, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — All fireworks and campfires will be banned on state lands as July Fourth approaches and crews continue to battle wildfires across New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday.

At a news conference at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum, Martinez urged residents not to use any fireworks and instead attend any of the professional fireworks shows scheduled [auth] around the state to celebrate the nation’s birth.

“Sometimes our landscape comes with a danger,” Martinez said. “The threat of another wildfire is real.”

Crews in southern New Mexico are battling the Silver Fire in the Gila National Forest. That blaze has grown to 214 square miles and is 54 percent contained.

In northern New Mexico, the Jaroso Fire remains uncontained. It has burned more than 17 square miles and is threatening campgrounds and other structures near the headwaters of the Pecos River.

Martinez said much of New Mexico remains under an extreme drought and the use of fireworks could cause more danger. More than 285 square miles in New Mexico have been charred by wildfires this year, the governor said.

Under state law, local governments must approve drought-based fireworks restrictions at least 20 days before the July Fourth holiday that allows the sale of fireworks. Cities and counties can ban the sale and use of certain fireworks — firecrackers and aerial fireworks, such as roman candles and bottle rockets.

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