Fireworks Too Dangerous to Risk

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RENO, NV - Fireworks are an essential part of any Fourth of July celebration, but if you're in northern Nevada, it had better be the professionals lighting them off.

They're illegal here, but still every year people are cited for this crime.

Fire stations around the region will be on high alert on independence day as they prepare for the inevitable; people illegally setting off fireworks and starting a wildfire.

They're marketed as a fun way to celebrate the Fourth of July, but fireworks are illegal in northern Nevada for a reason.

"Yeah we do get fireworks-caused fires. Nothing severe in the last two years but we do get them," said Chief Charlie Moore with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Evidence of that, two weeks ago a house fire in sparks was blamed on kids playing with fireworks. It wasn't too bad, but the potential for damage is much greater.

"We could have a devastating fire just like we had a few winters ago and especially with wind. Wind is our worst enemy in a fire," said Moore.

Nevada law leaves it up to the counties to decide firework legality. Because we're so fire-prone, most places have outlawed them. Even possession carries a hefty fine.

"There is no special permit for Forth of July to possess them. They are illegal if you are caught with them. it is a misdemeanor offense and you can get fined up to one-thousand dollars," said Officer Tim Broadway of the Reno Police Department.

But if your fireworks cause a fire, you're looking at much more serious charges. It's a felony offense.

Those pyrotchnics in the sky have an exemption. They're highly regulated and tested for safety. But keep in mind that your pets could be scared.

For various reasons, the Fourth is one of the busiest days of the year for local law enforcement. While it may be tempting to call 9-1-1 on your firework-using neighbors, your asked to not. Instead, call the police or sheriff non-emergency line.