More communities ban fireworks due to extremely dry conditions

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The town of Oro Valley has decided for a temporary ban on the use of consumer fireworks.

Five council members and the mayor all voted for the ban which starts immediately.

This decision comes as fire departments in Southern Arizona encourage this due to the dry conditions.

The temporary ban will be lifted once the fire marshal determines that the conditions are safe for consumer use of fireworks.

And for the first time, fireworks are being sold on the Fourth of July in the Tucson area.

But it's illegal to set them off in the city limits and in many parts of Pima County.

The extremely dry conditions have prompted many local governments to ban their use. 

Wednesday firefighters gave a demonstration of how quickly fires can get out of control in these dry conditions to drive home the point of the potential dangers of fireworks.

"Well our biggest concern is the illegal use of consumer fireworks especially under these dry conditions that we're facing," said Capt. Trish Tracy with the Tucson Fire Department.

TFD faces a pretty tough battle even with the cancellation of many fireworks displays around town. They know it will be tempting.

"Having those fireworks available does raise the concern for us as firefighters because we know that fireworks are out there and the temptation to want to use the illegal and dangerous consumer fireworks is going to be there," said Capt. Tracy.

Some residents disagree and feel that fireworks is just a part of the holiday.

"Fires can start anytime.  I just think they're trying to control too many things.  We should be able to have fireworks on the Fourth of July," said Tucson resident Tom Wadlund.

TFD encourages residents and visitors to leave the fireworks to the professionals, in case something does go wrong, there's trucks on hand to take care of a possible fire.

As of right now the big fireworks shows on "A" mountain and at Kino Stadium are still on.


Also the county department of environmental quality has asked people who plan to barbecue on the Fourth to forgo using lighter fluid in an effort to cut down on the amount of ozone in the air.