Despite Katy Perry’s advice, you just gotta not ignite the light and not let it shine this Fourth of July, fire officials are saying this year.
Due to the cancellation of professional fireworks displays throughout Northern Nevada, fire officials are concerned that Nevadans will turn to illegal fireworks displays this year.
Fireworks — even those handheld sparklers — are illegal in Washoe County, said Adam Mayberry, spokesman for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. Violaters can face up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail, he said.
“The concern is that since there are not alternatives, we’ll see an increased use of illegal fireworks,” said Mayberry.
Fireworks retailers already this year are reporting records sales, not just because of the cancellation of public displays on Independence Day but also because people are, well, bored.
With cities across the nation canceling public displays, sales of fireworks are booming as more families opt to put on their own shows, according to a USA Today report.
“Fireworks sales have been unprecedented and stronger than ever in the history of my being in this industry and I’ve been in it for 50 years,” said Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Ohio-based Phantom Fireworks, which has approximately 80 stores throughout the U.S. and supplies thousands of retailers nationwide.
Since around mid-May when states started phased-in reopenings, Zoldan said sales have shot up and have not slowed down. He said the company was planning on a 15% increase in sales this year, but estimates sales are around 115% higher than 2019.
Mayberry said Northern Nevada is in no place to take the risk of the sparkling, at-home entertainment, as there is plentiful heat and fuel in the area and crews already have had to battle a number of brush fires in the area. Additionally, fireworks can cause bodily harm, he said.
The little poppers and pop-its, however, are ok to use, Mayberry said.
Jenny Kane covers arts and culture in Northern Nevada, as well as the dynamic relationship between the state and the growing Burning Man community. She also covers the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry (Check out her podcast, the Potcast, on iTunes.) Support her work in Reno by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.