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Las Vegas authorities warn of illegal fireworks crackdown ahead of Fourth of July

Virus Outbreak Fireworks
Posted at 4:15 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 22:20:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Officials are reminding the public that the “You Light It, We Write It” inter-agency effort to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas valley will resume over this year’s Fourth of July holiday.

Information about the initiative is available here.

As part of the effort, the public is encouraged to report illegal fireworks complaints online by clicking here instead of calling 911 or 311.

Only fireworks labeled “safe and sane” are allowed and only from June 28 through July 4 in Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson when locally licensed and inspected fireworks stands are permitted to sell them. All fireworks, including those labeled “safe and sane,” are a concern during the spring and summer months when the threat of wildland fire is highest in Southern Nevada.

Neighborhood concerns about noise, litter, and the use of illegal fireworks purchased outside the Las Vegas Valley also are common.

No fireworks of any kind are allowed at Clark County Wetlands Park and other local parks, or on public lands in the region including Mount Charleston, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon.

“Safe and sane” fireworks include sparklers and fireworks that keep to a small, circular area on the ground and don’t explode in the air. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, Roman candles and sky rockets – any item made of highly combustible materials. Any fireworks purchased from vendors located outside Clark County are likely to be illegal, including those purchased from vendors in Pahrump, Amargosa Valley and the Moapa Band of Paiutes.

Offenders caught using illegal fireworks in Clark County and the city of Las Vegas are subject to fines of $250 to $1,000 and disposal fees.

Fire inspectors from both jurisdictions will team up with Metro police officers again this year over the July Fourth holiday to crack down on the use and possession of illegal fireworks in local neighborhoods.

Partners in the “You Light It, We Write It” effort include Clark County, area cities, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol. Reports to the ISpy website do not result in a police dispatch. Instead, the data is used to document problem areas and plan future law enforcement efforts. Officials remind the public that 911 should only be used to report life-threatening police, fire and medical emergencies.

The public may call 311, the police non-emergency number, to report illegal fireworks usage complaints but callers are asked to exercise patience, especially on busy nights like the Fourth of July, when dispatchers must prioritize emergency responses. In 2020 the ISpy site logged 27,194 complaints from June 28 through July 5, including 17,332 on July 4.

Officials say the best way to ensure that fireworks aren’t illegal is to buy them from local vendors authorized to sell “safe and sane” fireworks during the permitted, seven-day sales period. Fireworks sold at TNT or Phantom Fireworks booths this season have been tested and approved in the local jurisdictions, and the booths are inspected over the holiday for compliance. The public also is encouraged to enjoy professionally licensed fireworks shows that are scheduled to be held over the Fourth of July holiday in the Las Vegas Valley.

Residents can find “You Light It, We Write It” flyers, TV PSAs and other campaign materials in English and Spanish on the website as well. One PSA features interviews with local residents, including a 1 October survivor, affected by the sudden and unexpected noise from illegal fireworks.

Another PSA, produced with assistance from The Animal Foundation, highlights the impact that the use of illegal fireworks has on pets.

The shelter’s population typically increases by hundreds of pets over the Fourth of July holiday because of fear and anxiety caused by the noise. Most of the lost pets are never reclaimed.

The website also lists safety tips for people planning to use safe and sane fireworks.