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Farmington urges residents to refrain from fireworks and other fire sources

San Juan County is in the ‘worst level’ of drought
Fireworks light up Parque de Vida as spectators on bicycles watch a previous year’s fireworks display in Cortez. Some fireworks and other burning activities have been discouraged by the city of Farmington because of the extended drought conditions. (The Journal File)

FARMINGTON – Farmington City Council passed a resolution during its Tuesday meeting urging residents to refrain from using fire sources that could lead to deadly or destructive consequences during a prolonged drought.

According to a news release, “the resolution emphasizes the hazards of open burning, disposal of improperly extinguished cigarettes, fireworks and the use of other fire sources under extremely dry conditions.”

The San Juan County Commission issued a proclamation restricting the same fireworks May 25 after San Juan County Fire and Rescue requested the commission consider the restrictions.

According to the release from the city, fireworks such as cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, ground spinners, illuminating torches, toy smoking devices and wheels are limited to areas that are paved, barren and have access to a source of water in the event of a fire.

The proclamation will remain in effect for 30 days from June 10. However, City Council may extend the proclamation if extreme dry weather conditions continue.

“The city of Farmington and a majority of San Juan County are currently in exceptional drought, which is the worst level we can be in,” Acting Farmington Fire Chief Robert Sterrett said at Tuesday’s meeting.

This map shows San Juan County is in an exceptional drought status. Because of the prolonged drought, Farmington and San Juan County have issued limitations on certain fireworks and activities.

Most of San Juan County is in an “exceptional drought,” and has been in some level of drought since January 2019, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. San Juan County already ceased issuing burn permits to selected areas as of May 14.

In an attempt to alleviate the disappointment in firework restrictions, San Juan County announced May 25, that it will make the north parking lot at McGee Park available starting June 20 for residents to light fireworks on a paved surface. Residents are asked to pick up after themselves.

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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