SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – As a result of the worsening drought conditions across New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed an executive order that urges cities to consider banning the retail sale of fireworks in the state through the summer or until drought conditions show improvement. According to the United States Drought Monitor, about 75% of the state is abnormally dry with more than half of New Mexico experiencing at least moderate drought conditions and significant portions of the state are in a severe or extreme drought.
Over the past month, these percentages have drastically increased. In a press release, the governor’s Economic Business Recovery Council’s business reopening and COVID Safe Practice subcommittee states that they support the advised restrictions and notes the worsening drought conditions in addition to the added urgency of preventing wildfires during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The request follows other restrictions that are currently in place:
- On May 13, the New Mexico state forester banned outdoor smoking, open campfires, and fireworks for non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands
- The federal Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service have each imposed Stage II fire restrictions on many federal lands in New Mexico
- Several tribal governments, including the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the Navajo Nation have also acted swiftly to impose significant fire restrictions on their lands
The order doesn’t affect municipal fireworks displays for the Fourth of July which some cities will be doing with drive-in style attendance in accordance with state COVID-Safe Practices to adhere to social distancing in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. New Mexicans who choose to attend those displays are urged to do so safely and to physically distance themselves from others.