Fireworks a Concern as Fire Danger Remains High in Arizona

With the 4th of July holiday around the corner, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management urges the public to not use fireworks as more than half of the state remains in an exceptional drought status and fire activity continues.

While certain fireworks are legal, they can still start wildfires. Just as recent as last year, DFFM fire investigators ruled
fireworks as the ignition source of the 260-acre Stage Fire off I-17, northwest of New River. This year’s fine fuel load across
the Sonoran Desert remains extremely dry and any spark into that vegetation type can start a fast-moving wildfire. Due to
fire activity, resource availability, the drought-stressed fuels, and firefighter and public safety concerns, closures and Stage
II fire restrictions remain in place. Fireworks are not allowed on State Trust Land at any time of the year, regardless of
restrictions or closures. While precipitation is in the forecast, it will take quite a bit of continual moisture to pull the state
out of its drought status and decrease fire activity.

“It’s a matter of situational awareness and personal responsibility. We are in the heart of our fire season and current
conditions have prompted closures as a proactive measure to decrease the chance of new wildfire starts. Fireworks have
proven to be an ignition source for fires on our lands and what we are asking is that the public understand the threat,
make good choices, and if possible, partake in alternative 4th of July activities. Our prevention team will be out again
patrolling and making sure everyone is being safe and abiding by restrictions and closures,” said DFFM Prevention Officer
Aaron Casem.

Fireworks are regulated in Arizona under ARS § 36-1606. Under state law, fireworks sales are restricted to the 4th of July
and New Year holidays with only certain types allowed to be sold. Firecrackers, bottle and sky rockets, roman candles, and
any type of aerial firework are illegal in Arizona.

To date, 1,090 wildfires have burned nearly 526,000 acres throughout Arizona on all land jurisdictions. For more information, contact Tiffany Davila at 602-540-1036 or by email at tdavila@dffm.az.gov

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