Local leaders urge public to forego lighting fireworks

Posted at: 07/02/2013 8:15 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

State and local leaders made a powerful push Tuesday for public fireworks shows, urging New Mexicans to forget the do-it-yourself kind and leave the bangs and explosions to the experts.

They are not shy about using the Arizona firefighter tragedy to heighten public awareness for this fiery holiday in a season of extreme fire danger.

Local firefighters and police officers joined Gov. Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry to make the case for a safer 4th of July, but it was also another time to remember the 19 firefighters who lost their lives battling flames near Prescott, Arizona.

“They were even here in our own state helping us,” said Gov. Martinez, recalling how the Prescott hotshot team fought the Thompson Ridge fire in New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains last month. “All we had to do was ask. But they had to get back to their own state to protect the people within their own state. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers while we’re celebrating the 4th of July.”

The message is unmistakable: buy and use only legal fireworks this year. Do everything possible to avoid another life-taking wildfire. Even better – leave it to the professionals this time.

“Attend a public fireworks display,” pleaded Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen. “They’re safe, they’re enjoyable. Your family will have a great time – but if you buy fireworks, buy them locally.”

That way, the Chief pointed out, you’ll know for sure that what you bought is legal in the community where you’re planning to set them off.

Here in the Albuquerque metro the big show is the one on the 4th at the Balloon Fiesta Park. Gates open at 3PM. Parking is $10 per car – but check out the park and ride deal the city is offering. The prices are unbelievable! Here’s the link