SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The 4th of July holiday is right around the corner, so the Sparks Fire Department is reminding us that fireworks are illegal in Washoe County. They say to leave fireworks shows to the professionals.
The area's dry conditions are ideal for fires to burn fast and far and fire official say even the smallest spark can trigger one of those fires. So if you are caught doing the crime, you could be facing jail time. "The only place you possibly could use fireworks is if you go on an Indian Reservation, but you have to stay on that Reservation to shoot them off," said Fire Marshal Bob King. "But anywhere within the city of Sparks, the city of Reno, anywhere around Washoe County it is illegal to have fireworks."
King said in a typical year, Independence Holiday fireworks cause more fires in the United States than all other causes of fire combined. "It can happen in the city as well, you don’t have to be out in the forest to have a big fire, we can have one right in the city."
King said an example of what illegally setting off fireworks can do is the fire damage to a Sparks home last week, because people were playing with fireworks in the area. "It was just a simple one with a bottle rocket that landed in a juniper bush, and there it went."
King also said fire danger is not the only concern of fireworks. People often hurt themselves or others using them. "Children are fascinated by them of course because of the excitement, but we've seen many fingers blown off, hands blown off. I mean, it’s a dangerous thing to have and not be supervised, so we're very concerned with that as well."
So if you are caught with fireworks in our area, it is a misdemeanor, along with fines and possible jail time. "They could end up having to pay for any damages that fire department responds to or anything like that that occurs because of the fire from fireworks," said King.
So if you happen to have any fireworks you want to get rid of, King said you can turn them into any fire department, no questions asked. He also encourages everyone to safely enjoy fireworks during the upcoming holiday by going to professional shows around our area.