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Fireworks illegal in Sierra Front

A box of confiscated consumer fireworks, which are prohibited in the Sierra Front and Douglas County.
Kelsey Penrose/R-C File Photo

Someone grinding metal in a 35 mph windstorm set off a small fire in Topaz Ranch Estates around lunchtime on Sunday.

The fire was headed for the garage when an East Fork Protection engine was passing by and stopped the fire at about 2,500 square feet.

With July 4 on Saturday and all the professional fireworks shows canceled, Douglas County residents might be tempted to hold their own displays.

“It is important for Douglas County residents to remember that not only are fireworks illegal and prohibited in Douglas County, for possession, sale or use, but they are dangerous as well,” East Fork Fire Marshal Amy Ray said. “Fireworks are very dangerous, especially to children, resulting in over 44 percent of the injuries reported in emergency rooms, nationally, on July 4.”

Douglas has had an ordinance on the books banning home fireworks since 1938.

“As we approach the holiday weekend, not only do residents need to be aware that fireworks are illegal and dangerous, but that they are a major cause of wildland fires,” Ray said. “Anyone using fireworks cannot only be charged criminally for their sale, possession, and use, they can also be criminally and civilly charged with any acts and costs associated with wildland fires, as a result of the use of fireworks or other incendiary devices.”

It has been six years since someone set off fireworks at the top of Minnehaha Canyon that ignited a fire. A half-dozen firefighters were injured extinguishing that fire.

“Our area is approaching extremely dry vegetation conditions,” she said. “We have to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent wildland fires in celebration and not use fireworks during the holiday weekend and throughout the summer months.”

Douglas County deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers have been citing people who have been violating parking rules at Lake Tahoe.

With the long holiday weekend, deputies will be up at Lake Tahoe in force keeping the peace and enforcing the alcohol ban at Nevada Beach.

Alcohol will be confiscated and destroyed and there could also be a citation or arrest.

“Throughout the Stateline casino core area, Zephyr Cove and Nevada Beach, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Highway Patrol will have increased patrol personnel on duty as well as in both the Carson Valley to handle calls for service and traffic enforcement, particularly targeting speeding and intoxicated drivers,” county spokeswoman Bailey Gumm said on Monday.

The sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone who has consumed alcohol or any other intoxicant to catch a ride with a sober driver.

According to the sheriff’s office, many of the people deputies come in contact with over the Fourth of July holiday are under the age of 21. Nevada law prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol or marijuana by anyone under the age of 21. It is illegal to smoke marijuana in a public place, and against the law to drive a vehicle under the influence.

Curfew in Douglas County is midnight throughout the summer. Persons under the age of 18 are subject to citation for being in violation of this ordinance. Persons under the age of 21 who are in possession of alcohol or under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subject to arrest.