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Commissioners place a fireworks ban on McKinley County

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Drought conditions have still not improved, and with the Fourth of July less than a month away, the McKinley County commissioners have made the decision to ban certain fireworks.

According to the Drought Monitor, McKinley County is now in the D3 (extreme) drought zones, with a small part of the northwest corner of the state in the D2 (severe) zones as of May 26. The Drought Monitor is put out by the the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to Weather Underground, a website that provides long-range weather reports, McKinley County hasn’t seen any rain since April 13, and that day it only rained .03 inches. It also rained on April 5, but that was only .04 inches.

Wind has also been a factor in the drought conditions.  According to Weather Underground, on April 22, wind gusts got up to 52 mph.

McKinley County hasn’t seen any extreme fires despite the dry conditions. However, fires continue to ambush other parts of New Mexico.

According to the McKinley County Fire Department presentation that was given during the commissioners’ June 7 special meeting, the Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon fire has destroyed 315,000 acres. The Black Fire has destroyed 246,000 acres, the Fost Fire over 10,000, and the Bear Trap fire 38,000.

These factors led the commissioners to approve the firework ban during the meeting.

“It was really a no-brainer with the drought conditions and the wildfires in New Mexico,” Dist. 1 Commissioner Billy Moore said in an interview with the Sun. “We didn’t really have a choice.”

With a firework ban, only certain fireworks can be banned. Things like sparklers and smaller fireworks that don’t go very high will not be a part of the ban.

By Molly Ann Howell
Sun Correspondent

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