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Be safe with fireworks

While all levels of fireworks are available in Nye County, the only pyrotechnics that can be legally used by the public are those which don’t attain high altitudes and are rated “1.4” on the scale measuring explosive power.

Fire Chief Scott Lewis said, “Just because you can buy them, doesn’t mean you can set them off. Any fireworks rate 1.3 or below are for use by professionals.”

He said, “Safe and sane fireworks are things like sparklers, firecrackers, and those items which basically stay on the ground and produce more of a visual effect than anything else.” Anything that goes aerial …

even bottle rockets…are illegal. They can be purchased but not used.

Lewis said, “We’ve had several structure fires this year where fireworks were mishandled, usually by a juvenile. A recent fire caused the loss of the main house, vehicles and damage to outbuildings — all from fireworks.”

Lewis said people need to be careful with low-level fireworks as well.

He said the best guide is common sense but provided a list of cautions. “The best thing people can do is enjoy the professional shows at Petrack Park and the Nugget. All of the emergency services and the sheriff’s office are already there. We don’t have to worry about response times.”

He said the biggest problems emergency personnel face are injury, burns and structure fires.

“When residents are setting off fireworks, there needs to be an adult present, someone who isn’t impaired by drugs or alcohol, a supervisor.

“Children should never be left alone with fireworks and don’t carry them in your pockets.

“Wear safety goggles, and if you have fireworks that don’t go off the way they should, leave them alone and stay away from them for at least 20 minutes. Then immerse them in a bucket of water and let them become saturated before putting them in a refuse container.”

Lewis said residents should only purchase pyrotechnics from a reliable source and stick to the package directions. He said never take them apart, or try to rig them to make a bigger explosive.

He said have a water hose within reach and avoid setting off fireworks near brush, buildings or vehicles.

Possession and use of all fireworks (including safe and sane) is prohibited on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public land in Southern Nevada. A fire prevention patrol in high fire danger areas will take place leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.

Violations can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail as well as the costs associated with resource damage, suppression costs, and injuries if found guilty.

Lewis said if you have been injured, burned or started a secondary fire, don’t hesitate to call 911. “Response time is crucial.”

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