El Paso

Fireworks allowed in Las Cruces and unincorporated areas of El Paso, Dona Ana counties

Fireworks allowed in Las Cruces and unincorporated areas of El Paso Dona Ana counties

The Fourth of July is just two weeks away, and for many, that means the age-old tradition of popping fireworks.

Within Las Cruces, it's official: You can buy and pop fireworks, but it does come with restrictions.

You can only discharge ground fireworks and handheld sparklers, along with smoking devices like cone fountains and crackling devices.

Aerial and ground audible devices like missile rockets, chasers and firecrackers are not allowed.

Also, you can't pop them in parks or on other people's property, like school grounds.

These rules also apply in the unincorporated areas of Dona Ana County.

In the unincorporated areas of El Paso County fireworks will be allowed. 

"We can only ban fireworks when there is significant drought," said County Commissioner Vince Perez.

Perez said the county monitors the state's drought index.

"We recently had rainfall last week, so that lowered the index pretty significantly," Perez said. 

That means fireworks fans will be able to pop any kind of fireworks, aerial or ground, in the unincorporated areas of the county, but it does come with concerns.

"There are thousands of homes in areas today that were previously desert, and there's a lot of people today living out of the city limits, and I think all of them are at risk for fires or fireworks that can perhaps go astray," Perez said.

Perez said the county has created a safer alternative for those seeking to watch colors in the sky.

"There's going to be a very high-quality fireworks show that's going to be available. It's called Fireworks over the Lake, and last year people had a great time, and we are trying to create a family-friendly environment for folks to come in and enjoy themselves," Perez said.

Sheriff deputies from both El Paso and Dona Ana counties will have increased patrols to issue citations and confiscate any illegal fireworks.

Sales in Las Cruces begin June 20, and in El Paso County on June 24.

Ascarate's Fireworks over the Lake begins at 5 p.m. July 4,  with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. it'll cost $5 per car.

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