Gov. Susana Martinez
Santa Fe – Gov. Susana Martinez and Mayor Richard J. Berry urged New Mexicans to not use their own fireworks and instead attend a public display on the 4th of July.
The Governor and Albuquerque Mayor spoke Wedensday afternoon at Balloon Fiesta Park, where the City of Albuquerque will host its Freedom Fourth Fireworks Display on July 4th as part of the annual Red, White and Balloons celebration.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry
“We have been blessed to have no loss of life or structures burned this season and we want to keep it that way,” Martinez said. “My top priority is to keep our firefighters and the public safe during difficult drought conditions, so I am urging every New Mexican to do their part and consider attending a public display this 4th of July.”
“I hope folks realize that illegal fireworks just aren’t worth the risk,” Berry said. “Our entire city is a tinderbox waiting for one spark; creating an extremely dangerous situation for all of us. We want everyone to have a safe and fun Fourth of July so we hope to see everyone taking advantage of the professional firework shows.”
“No fireworks of any kind are allowed to be discharged in or around the Bosque, Open Space areas or city parks,” Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen said. “We are asking the public once again to assist us in keeping Albuquerque safe from structure and wild land fires by using fireworks in a safe and appropriate manner.”
Governor Martinez highlighted four specific displays that will occur over water at New Mexico State Parks. On the 4th of July, fireworks displays will be take place at Eagle Nest Lake and Sumner Lake State Parks. On the 6th of July, additional fireworks displays will occur at Elephant Butte Lake and Ute Lake State Parks. If unable to make it to a State Park, the Governor urges New Mexicans to contact their local leaders to find the nearest community display.
Currently, there are five active fires that have burned more than 136,000 acres. In response, many counties and municipalities have enacted local fireworks bans while the Administration has banned the use of fireworks on all state and private wild lands. However, state law does not allow the governor to ban fireworks through executive order. The Governor has asked state lawmakers to pass a bill that gives the authority to issue statewide bans, but those bills have failed to get through the state legislature each of the last three sessions.
“The consequences of these fires are serious. We must do everything we can to eliminate the chance of sparking a new wildfire. Professional displays have fire crews on hand to ensure the safety of our citizens. But personal fireworks present a danger to all of us given our extremely dry conditions,” Martinez said.
The Governor also asked New Mexicans to avoid discarding cigarettes, using open flames for any purpose, or taking any action that may set brush or vegetation on fire.