Governor urges local restrictions on fireworks due to drought conditions
SANTA FE – Due to worsening drought conditions across New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed an executive order urging New Mexico cities and counties to consider banning the retail sale of fireworks in the state through the summer or until drought conditions improve.
Approximately 75 percent of New Mexico is abnormally dry; more than half the state is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions, and significant portions of the state are in a severe or extreme drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. These percentages have increased dramatically over the past month.
The governor’s Economic Recovery Council’s business reopening and COVID Safe Practices subcommittee supports the advised restrictions, noting the worsening drought conditions and the added urgency of preventing wildfires during COVID-19.
The request follows other restrictions already in place:
- The New Mexico state forester on May 13 banned outdoor smoking, open campfires and fireworks for non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands.
- The federal Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have each imposed Stage II fire restrictions on many federal lands in the state.
- Several tribal governments, including the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Navajo Nation, have also acted swiftly to impose significant fire restrictions on their lands.
The order does not affect municipal fireworks displays for the Fourth of July, which some cities will be doing with drive-in style viewing in accordance with state COVID-Safe Practices to accommodate social distancing required to prevent the spread of COVID-19. New Mexicans who choose to take in those displays should do so safely and with physical distancing from others.