The Oro Valley Town Council will hold a special meeting June 29 to consider passing an emergency ordinance to prohibit the use of consumer fireworks.
The planned action follows measures already approved by the City of Tucson, and most recently by Pima and Pinal counties.
Following warnings from local fire officials, Oro Valley Acting City Manager Greg Caton said the council will consider passing an emergency ordinance that would ban consumer-use of fireworks. With the emergency designation, if passed, the ordinance would go into effect immediately.
Caton said it’s important to get the measure passed and in place before the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Fire Chief Randy Karrer, of the Golder Ranch Fire District, warned council members during the June 15 meeting that he is extremely concerned about the dangers of residents being allowed to legally set off ground fireworks this year.
Karrer said high temperatures, low humidity and winds have created the perfect season for wildfires to spread. There are currently five wildfires spreading throughout the state, with an estimated 865 firefighters battling the blazes.
Caton said the ordinance will not impact professional displays planned for the holiday, noting that they have already obtained the required permits to set off the public displays.
A week ago Karrer wasn’t sure an ordinance could be passed in time. He and other fire officials have asked residents not use fireworks, even if they are legal.
Fire officials in Marana are still asking residents to think about the extreme fire conditions, and not use any fireworks this season.
The Marana Town Council has not joined regional efforts to prohibit fireworks. Town Spokesman Rodney Campbell said the council has not called a special session to discuss the issue.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a temporary resolution banning the use of all fireworks until weather conditions improve on June 21. This includes all personal and commercial use of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Pima County.
All requests for commercial permits for fireworks have been denied. All permits previously approved have been rescinded.
All violators of the law will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor and all will be physically arrested and booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Center or Pima County Juvenile Detention Center.
On June 22, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors followed suit, enacting a ban on the use of consumer fireworks in all of unincorporated Pinal County. The ban does not affect or cancel commercial fireworks displays.
The City of Tucson already banned firework use inside city limits, passing an ordinance after the Arizona Legislature voted to legalize them in 2010.