Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Bernalillo County Fire Department has begun extra patrols of the bosque, the foothills and the East Mountains during the Fourth of July holiday. Brush trucks from each fire station in the county will take turns patrolling these areas and six additional two-person crews have also been brought in.
“With the dry and dangerous conditions we are facing, these extra crews will allow BCFD to have a faster response to any fires that may start,” says Bernalillo County Fire Chief John Garcia. “BCFD also has a presence on the Rio Grande with our airboat which will patrol the bosque from the water and the crew will also be able to aid in fighting any fire that may occur along the river’s edge.”
The patrols will run through July 4, but could be extended if fire conditions remain extreme.
The Bernalillo County Fire Department urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks which includes, but is not limited to, cones, sparklers and firecrackers. Instead, enjoy fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals:
· Casino Hollywood, July 3 at dusk.
· Freedom Fourth, Balloon Fiesta Park 3-10 p.m.
· Isotopes Park, July 4 and again on Saturday, July 7.
· Rio Rancho High School Football Stadium, July 4, 6-9 p.m.
· Los Lunas, David Fernandez Park, July 4 at dusk.
· Socorro on the campus of New Mexico Tech, July 4 at dusk.
If residents choose to light legal consumer fireworks, please take these precautions:
· Do not light fireworks under windy conditions.
· Always have an adult light the fireworks.
· After the fireworks display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over,
they may still be active.
· Keep a bucket of water nearby and place the fireworks and sparklers in the water to
completely extinguish them after they have burned out.
The bosque in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County is under a partial closure at this time. Citizens must stay on the established paths on the levee roads. Paths in the bosque cannot be accessed under this partial closure. The partial closure does not apply to county and city open space areas that are not along the bosque, including the Sandia foothills and West Mesa grasslands.
Bernalillo County continues to restrict all open burning and has also put into place fireworks restrictions. The following are not allowed outside the city limits of Albuquerque in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County:
· Agricultural burning, bonfires, burning of explosives, campfires, ceremonial fires, cooking fires, hot torch burning, ignition of rocket motors, open burning, open flames, slash piles and burning weeds. Charcoal broilers, barbecue grills, wood and coal burning stoves used outside of private dwellings are classified as campfires and are prohibited.
· Cooking or heating devices that use kerosene, white gas, or propane as fuel may be used with adequate fire protection and defensible space.
· The fireworks restrictions apply to the sale and use of any fireworks that shoot sparks and pieces outside a six foot circle and/or higher than 10 feet in the air or are louder than a cap gun. Fireworks that may pose a hazard by falling or tipping over during operation are also restricted.
Violators who are cited for open burning restrictions could face fines up to $300 and/or 90 days in jail. For fireworks violators, fines are up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail.
Smoking is restricted to designated areas, within structures or within vehicles with ashtrays.
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