Nevada a ‘dry fireworks state’ |

Nevada a ‘dry fireworks state’

East Fork Fire Marshal Steve Eisele and a box of confiscated fireworks. Consumer fireworks are prohibited in Douglas County and the Sierra Front.
Kelsey Penrose

Home fireworks are prohibited in the Sierra Front, including Douglas County, and have been for a long time.

“For the most part, we’re a ‘dry fireworks state,’” said Fire Marshall Steve Eisele. “If you find fireworks for purchase around here, they’re on tribal lands, which means they are intended to be shot off in designated zones on the tribal land. It’s illegal to even possess fireworks in Douglas County, even the so-called ‘safe and sane’ fireworks.”

The most dangerous fireworks, said Eisele, are the most common: the innocent looking sparkler. Sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees, and often lead to burn injuries, lacerations, and can spark a fire immediately if dropped.

They’ve also dealt with people who have blown fingers off from mishandling legal fireworks.

“Fireworks are truly an issue when it comes to our region,” said Eisele. “It’s unseasonably warm right now, and we have standing dead grass from this spring and the last wet winter we had. A grass fire can burn through 400 acres in the blink of an eye.”

Even parking a hot car over grass can quickly start a blaze.

If any resident has fireworks, they can deliver them, no questions asked, to the East Fork Fire District office so they can be disposed of safely. Recently, a woman brought in box of fireworks relatives had brought in for the holiday, and she knew they were just an accidental fire waiting to happen, Eisele said.

According to county code, discharge of any firework in Douglas County is punishable by six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. In addition, the use or possession of fireworks on national public lands is subject to confiscation and fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. In addition, anyone found responsible for starting a wildfire can be held civilly and criminally liable.

Those seeking to experience fireworks this Fourth of July, have plenty of options, including Lights on the Lake at Stateline, which have been ranked one of the best in the entire country, and attract more than 100,000 people each year to view them.

If Douglas County residents prefer to stay away from the traffic at the Lake, there are other options available:

The annual carnival in Carson begins June 30, culminates in a fireworks show on Wednesday. The fireworks will be set off from Carson High School at dusk.

In Virginia City, the 4th of July Celebration begins at 10 a.m. There will be a Delta Saloon parking lot barbecue, a parade at noon, and concerts throughout. At dusk, the fireworks will launch from behind the Silverland Hotel.

The Northern Nevada Railroad Museum will have two of its historic locomotives steamed up and ready to go for visitors to ride.