Las Cruces police and firefighters responded to more fireworks complaints and issued more citations than in previous years.
Between June 20 and July 6 of this year, police and firefighters responded to 235 fireworks-related complaints and two brush fires caused by fireworks within city limits. The 235 fireworks-related complaints surpassed figures from 2012 (171) and 2011 (163).
“While not all complaints can be attributed to illegal fireworks, most of the complaints that were received dealt with aerial type devices which are illegal (within city limits),” said Las Cruces Fire Marshal Ted Sweetser. “Upon investigation with residents who possessed these illegal fireworks, a vast majority indicated they were purchased in the Town of Mesilla.”
The Safe and Sane fireworks ordinance in Las Cruces is more stringent than in the neighboring town.
Police and fire also issued more fireworks-related citations this year than in previous years. This year, 25 citations for use or possession of illegal fireworks were issued by police, fire and Codes Enforcement officers. Only five such citations were issued in each of the previous two years.
The fire department seized 140 pounds of illegal fireworks during the 16-day period which is the most ever confiscated in any given year.
The Las Cruces Fire Department did not receive any reports of structure fires related to fireworks. The two brush fires were quickly contained with no major losses reported.