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Play it safe during Arizona’s winter fireworks season, experts say

(Flickr/Mark Krynsky)

PHOENIX – Arizonans are fortunate to have two times of the year to enjoy fireworks.

But Phoenix Fire Capt. Larry Subervi is up front when talking about fireworks, especially during the recent dry fall and winter months.

“What we talk about on the Fourth of July are no different than during the holiday season, “ he said.  “We don’t want people to have the perception that it’s winter time so that the vegetation is moister.

“In fact, we’re about three inches below our normal rainfall for this time of the year and there’s a lot of dry vegetation out there.”

Subervi said people must always be careful when handling fireworks, and to never hold a lit firework in your hand.

“Every year we see people who lose fingers because they hold a bottle rocket,”  Subervi added. “They should be lit on the ground or if there’s a container they should be in, we recommend lighting them that way.”

He cautioned about stringing or tying fuses or fireworks together for a bigger explosion, saying that every firework should be lit individually.

Fireworks are often brought in from out-of-state from Utah, New Mexico, Texas or even Mexico. However, all are illegal.

“Big projectile fireworks that can cause brush fires with falling embers, you need to stay away from,” Subervi said. “They are not allowed in Arizona.”

Subervi also warned about firing weapons into the air, which became a felony in 2000 when Shannon’s Law was enacted.

Bullets fired into the sky related to Subervi on a personal level.

“My stepdad actually was shot in his knee on New Year’s Day about 20 years ago as he was in the backyard by somebody firing a gun up in the air,” he said.

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