Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

State Issues Fireworks Ban.(Final)

Byline: Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writer

Curbs Take Effect In Many Rural Areas

Fireworks were banned across much of rural New Mexico on Thursday at the request of Gov. Bill Richardson.

The state Forestry Division ordered the ban for all woodlands and all grassy and brushy areas outside municipal limits.

"It's basically anything that doesn't have an asphalt parking lot on it," said staff forester Kim Kostelnik, explaining where the ban applies.

The sweeping prohibition is in effect as of 8 a.m. today on all state and private land but doesn't include cities, which her state government agency has no authority over.

The ban does not include tribal or federal land, although fireworks are already prohibited in all national forests in New Mexico.

Several eastern New Mexico counties that have seen adequate rainfall are excluded from the state order.

The ban is Richardson's response to a fire season that this week took a frightening, high-profile turn in the cottonwood-lined Rio Grande Valley running through the middle of the state's largest city. …

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