Reno, Nev. July 1, 2020. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of many popular pyrotechnic displays on Independence Day, local fire and law enforcement officials are reminding residents that the use of fireworks in Washoe County are illegal, and unsafe.
The penalty for possession of fireworks can be a fine up to $1,000.00 and if convicted, up to 6 months in jail for each misdemeanor conviction. The person can also be held responsible for the cost of combating the fire.
Capable of reaching temperatures of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, fireworks are hot enough to cause third degree burns and severe injury, and damage sight and hearing. Children are especially vulnerable to the dangers. Fireworks are also capable of igniting wildland fires in dry brush and trees.
“This summer, our region is very hot and the brush and grass is very dry,” Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore said. “The use of fireworks increases the chances of a wildland fire in the area, putting residents and firefighters at risk. Enjoy your time with friends and family and find alternative activities that do not spark fires,” said Chief Moore.
“We would like to remind folks that fireworks are illegal to possess or discharge on any property, including US Forest Service, public or private in the Tahoe Basin,” said North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Chief Ryan Sommers.
“As we have witnessed in recent days, Washoe County is in the midst of a severe fire season. With the upcoming 4th of July, I know many of us like to enjoy watching fireworks displays. This year, due to the current pandemic, many of the public celebrations have been canceled. I would implore all of our community members to find a safe way to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July that would not endanger the lives, property or wildlife in our beautiful community. Our deputies will take action if they witness any illegal fireworks activity. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend,” said Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam.
While it may be legal to purchase fireworks in some locations outside of Washoe County and on Tribal Lands, it is illegal to possess or use fireworks and/or pyrotechnics within the Truckee Meadows and North Lake Tahoe Fire Districts which includes the unincorporated areas of Washoe County.