Celebrate Independence Day safely and responsibly

Adam Curtis Public Affairs Press Releases

As we prepare to celebrate Fourth of July, the City of Sierra Vista urges local residents to do so responsibly by heeding state and local fireworks laws, protecting their pets, and keeping drones grounded in City parks and sports fields.

In Sierra Vista consumer fireworks can only be used on private property, with the permission of the property owner. Any public areas, to include parks, schools, streets, and public rights-of-way, are off limits. It’s also illegal for anyone under 16 to purchase fireworks and for anyone under 18 to use them unless supervised by an adult.

“As we wait for our summer rains to start, the conditions on the Fourth of July are expected to be dry and consumer fireworks, even the legal ones, pose a significant fire danger,” Sierra Vista Fire Marshal Paul Cimino says. “We recommend residents enjoy the public fireworks display, which begins at the Domingo Paiz Sports Complex at about 8:05 p.m.”

Many consumer fireworks are still illegal in Arizona, including anything designed to become airborne and explode. Bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, helicopters, and jumping jacks are common examples of fireworks that remain illegal statewide. Permitted fireworks include cylindrical and cone fountains, ground spinners, illuminating torches, and other types designed to be handheld or to remain on the ground.

“Please remember that all fireworks, even sparklers, are prohibited in City parks and public property. Aside from fire danger, sparklers are a common cause of burn injuries and we ask that residents exercise extreme caution if they choose to use sparklers or other consumer fireworks at home on private property,” Cimino says.

Protect your pets

While Independence Day promises plenty of family-friendly fun, the combination of extreme heat, large crowds, and loud noises can make it anything but fun for the furry members of the family.

The most common risk is the potential for fireworks to spook pets, especially dogs, into running away and getting lost. With one of the largest fireworks shows in the state, Sierra Vista will offer a spectacular display in the Domingo Paiz and Stone Fields just after 8 p.m. That’s a great time to ensure pets are safe and secure at home.

The Fourth of July festivities do kick off with a Pets and People Promenade in Veterans Memorial Park from 7 to 8:30 a.m. That’s the perfect opportunity to include pets in the holiday festivities, decking them out in their best red, white, and blue duds and accessories. Just consider taking them home before the Salute to the Union ceremony in the park at 11:30 a.m., when canons will offer to a salute to the 50 states and a flyover will add to the loud noises that may alarms pets.

“Each year, animal shelters across the country receive lost dogs that get spooked by fireworks displays during the Fourth of July,” says Arleen Garcia, the City’s animal control supervisor. “It’s a good time to make sure all your pets are properly tagged or microchipped, so if they do get lost they can be easily identified and quickly returned.” 

Leaving pets outside unsheltered is also dangerous due to the extreme heat experienced during the day. And hot cars are the last place for a pet, as the temperature can reach levels that cause brain damage or even death in a matter of minutes. Plus pets’ paws can be hurt by walking on hot pavement.

No drone zone

The use of unmanned aircraft, commonly known as drones, is prohibited in City parks and fields unless they are used within an organized City program under supervision or authorized by a written permit from the City’s director of Leisure and Library Services.

Flying a drone during the public fireworks display could be particularly hazardous and will result in a delay in the show until the drone is grounded.

Drones are allowed at Bolin Field but are prohibited in all other City parks and sports fields.