With the elevated danger of wildfire, caused by drought and unseasonably high temperatures, the City of Rio Rancho has fired out a statement on restrictions for the Fourth of July.
The celebration, the city said, “is a time of celebration for communities across the nation. Family picnics and other outdoor activities are planned for many in Rio Rancho. The tradition of using fireworks to celebrate America’s Independence Day has created additional risks of starting fires in open fields, yards and the Rio Grande Bosque.”
City officials suggest that residents attend its own celebration for safety reasons.
“The City of Rio Rancho encourages citizens to attend a public fireworks display, rather than risking an injury or potential fire with the use of fireworks at home,” according to a press statement.
The event is free and features the Sky Room outdoor performance space and amphitheater. There will be live music by the Rio Grande Symphonic Band and the New Mexico Philharmonic.
Afterward, the city’s fireworks show will begin. There will also be food vendors and a beer garden, and there is plenty of parking for spectators who only want to watch the fireworks.
“Visitors may park in the lots and tailgate as they enjoy a dazzling fireworks display,” the press release said.
Meantime, residents have plenty of fire restrictions to consider.
- The City of Rio Rancho prohibits fireworks that go higher than 10 feet and are louder than a cap gun. Any fireworks that do not meet this standard are deemed illegal, and anyone caught in possession of them and/or using them may be subject to fireworks seizure, citation and penalty. A violation carries a potential fine of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to 90 days.
- Igniting fireworks, starting or maintaining any fire, or smoking in the Rio Rancho Bosque is prohibited by city ordinances at all times. Those found in violation of these restrictions can face a fine up to $500, 90 days of jail time, or both.
- The City of Rio Rancho continues to have a ban in place regarding all of the types of fireworks it can legally prohibit under state statute. Only changes to state law would give the city the authority to completely ban the sale and use of currently legal fireworks in the community.
For additional fireworks information, including safety tips for using legal fireworks, visit the City’s website, www.rrnm.gov/fireworks
Report: If you believe illegal fireworks are being sold or used in Rio Rancho, please contact the public safety non-emergency telephone number, (505) 891-7226. The Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue Department asks that residents be fire-wise and safety-conscious this holiday season and keep their eyes out for signs of smoke or fire, or other incidents that may occur. Please report incidents immediately by calling 9-1-1.
Label: Look for the “Safe and Sane” label when purchasing fireworks as these do not fly or explode. If you purchase fireworks in the City of Rio Rancho, the Fire and Rescue Department has inspected and approved all fireworks vendors to assure that the “Safe and Sane” criteria has been met.