County Commission restricts fireworks

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

Chairman Tim Ashley jokingly referred to himself as the “Grinch who stole the Fourth of July” at Thursday’s special meeting of the Curry County Commission. The reference to the famous Dr. Seuss holiday-stealing character came after the commissioners adopted an ordinance restricting fireworks.

The ordinance bans the sale and use of rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners and ground-audible fireworks. The use of other fireworks is restricted to paved areas or having a readily accessible source of water, according to the proclamation.

This decision came after the U.S. National Weather Service designated all of New Mexico as a persistent drought condition area. Ashley said the ban is obviously warranted because of the clear and present danger of fire in the area.

Commissioner Albin Smith reported positive feedback from residents in his district regarding the fireworks ban.

Curry County Manager Dick Smith said the ban is a collaborative effort between Clovis and the county.

The commissioners also chose to continue the countywide burn ban that encompasses all outdoor fires including barbecue grills. The commissioners will consider a resolution in Tuesday’s meeting regarding the fines associated with violating the burn ban.

Smith said many residents who are seeking to have the ban lifted have mentioned the need to burn trash.

“There is a New Mexico statute against burning trash,” Smith said. “I think most people are unaware of this.”