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home : latest news : regional July 22, 2014


6/24/2014 6:00:00 AM
Fireworks ban sparks discussion among Mohave County leaders
Courtesy
Courtesy

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter


Correction: An article that ran in Tuesday's newspaper entitled "Fireworks ban divides Mohave County leaders" should have said the Mohave County Board of Supervisors banned the use of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county, not the sale of fireworks. The Kingman Daily Miner regrets the error.

KINGMAN - With the Fourth of July holiday only two weeks away, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors banned the use Monday of consumer fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county.

The ban will take place on land that has been declared a high fire danger by the Mohave County Division of Emergency Management or when a state or federal agency has implemented Stage One fire restrictions, which are in effect now. The restrictions are caused by ongoing drought, very dry vegetation, high winds and worsening fire conditions.

Although a ban on the use of consumer fireworks was put in place last year, this is the first time the county has had the authority to issue a ban on the sale of consumer fireworks. That's because of Senate Bill 1158, which was passed in April and allows Arizona counties to regulate the sale of fireworks. The city of Kingman has banned the sale of fireworks, citing the same state law.

Dave Glass, owner of Round Eyes Fireworks in Desert Hills, tried to convince the board that voting in favor of the amendment would hurt his businesses. Glass said his company sells about nine tons of fireworks during the July 4 holiday, and the county hasn't given him enough time to deal with the change.

"This amendment will directly affect our sales and income, and it will put a burden on us," said Glass, noting Desert Hills Fire District has given its blessing on fireworks sales at his businesses. "The company has already purchased the fireworks and was intending on selling them."

Board Chairwoman Hildy Angius, District 2, confirmed the fire district's support of consumer fireworks sales there. In a letter to the board, district officials said there have been no known fires because of fireworks. Angius said she couldn't see punishing businesses that sell fireworks because of new legislation.

Emergency Management Officer Byron Steward said the use of fireworks was banned last year at elevations of 2,000 feet or higher, but this year the ban is covering all four fire zones in Mohave County because of extreme fire danger. Steward said he didn't have a problem making an exception to a fire district if it indicated there was no problem.

"To me, it doesn't make sense to have a prohibition on the use of fireworks and still allow them to be sold," said Steward. "To me, that's sending a double message. I understand that people can go next door and buy it from another jurisdiction, but they're buying them from that jurisdiction, and we are taking care of the safety issue in our jurisdiction. Whatever happens in the cities is up to them."

Supervisor Steve Moss, District 5, said he followed the legislation and discussed it with supervisors in other counties. Moss said he agreed with the need for it in Yavapai and Coconino counties, which are largely forested and fear the fires.

But Mohave County is another story.

"When it comes to Mohave County, I've never been in favor of us enacting such a prohibition," said Moss "I don't like Mohave County becoming like the great state of California.

"This is still America, and if a kid wants to light up a firecracker, I want him to be able to do that, like I used to do. I just don't like this amendment, philosophically."

Re/Max - cdavidcooley (rentals/sales)
Related Stories:
• Kingman bans sale, use of fireworks


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Article comment by: Ignorance abound

So once again Mr. Moss shows his ignorance about an issue that he should not have commented on. I am glad to see he believes that the county has the money to fight a wild land fire and help rebuild homes that are lost due to a fire started by idiots misusing fireworks. Oh and by the way Mr. Moss it has been illegal to light firecrackers in Arizona for decades I am glad you are not my district representative! I spoke with Kingman Fire Department today they informed me that while the sale of "Consumer fireworks" can not be purchased, sparklers, snakes and smoke bombs can be. These can still be used in the City of Kingman as well. Happy 4th everyone.

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Benjamin Franklin

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Dave Coop

I'm ashamed of these Arizonians supporting a ban on fireworks. "There are just too many people without common sense these days that can't seem to keep from getting hurt or burning something down." Come on... Grow a spine... That's like supporting a law that forbids people from going outside. It's like banning the use of firearms, and scissors. And you want this ban to take place on the 4th of July of all days! Fireworks aren't just a celebratory device. They are among this nation's most prominent symbols of freedom.

I agree with Steve Moss and Dave Glass. This isn't China or the Republic of California. This is America. This is Arizona. We are cowboys who believe in the philosophy that living free is worth the risks. If you think the risks are unreasonable, look again. Look at the statistics. Listen to the firemen. If you believe fireworks are unnecessary, go outside. The best things in life are "unnecessary" - ice cream is unnecessary - but these things are what life is all about.

It's one thing to force you and your kids to be sheltered in a safety bubble. It's another to force everyone in there with you. It's especially oppressive on Independence Day. What we have here is a classic case of "safety vs freedom" or "risk vs benefit." Do the American thing this 4th of July.


Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: L J

I'am confused. Story found in the Mohave Daily News states the sale was approved, while the use is banned . In
the Miner both sale & use are banned?


Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Tom Beller

Remember our Dean Peak fire last year? Although in was cause by nature, I believe it to be in our best interest to ask Mr. Glass to store his nine tons of fireworks for another year. I’m a full-time resident in Pine Lake and do not want someone celebrating with fireworks because Supervisor Moss believes, "When it comes to Mohave County, I've never been in favor of us enacting such a prohibition," says Moss "I don't like Mohave County becoming like the great state of California.

"This is still America, and if a kid wants to light up a firecracker, I want him to be able to do that, like I used to do. I just don't like this amendment, philosophically."

When I was a kid, if the weather was too dry to light my fireworks my parents wrapped them up and stored them for another year. Sometimes no means no. I believe the scarring will disappear in time.


Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: justanobody sr

so Mr Glass values money over public safety?
anyone see a problem here?
having had fire damage my property, you never forget how fragile your life and property really are!
Mr Glass...... you had to see this coming, as all the drought and fires nationwide,
there always be those who don't care, and who will set off fireworks anyhow, my advice to you.........make sure you have a good attorney!


Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Fireworks should be permanently banned like it is in other states. Face it folks, there are just too many people without common sense these days that can't seem to keep from getting hurt or burning something down, also the fact they are also too lazy to clean up after themselves adds to the needed ban.

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Jeanne Kentch

The sale of fireworks was not banned. It was a 3 to 2 vote, 3 opposed the ban.



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