NEW MEXICO (KRQE) –  Drought conditions and high fire danger has communities throughout the state banning fireworks. One township in Valencia County is not going to restrict them, and it’s causing some controversy.

“This issue has come up every year since we’ve been incorporated. It’s always drought season—it’s been drought for the last 50 years,” says Leon Otero, councilman for the town of Peralta. Should the town of Peralta ban or restrict fireworks this year? At their last council meeting, the council voted not to change their existing fireworks ordinance.

“Fires a concern. The biggest beef though we had: we didn’t have anybody at the meeting—during the public hearing part of the meeting—address fire concern,” Otero says, “There were only two people there, maybe three, that opposed fireworks at all and that was because of their animals.”

However, the decision has sparked some outrage. County fire officials and locals tell KRQE News 13 they’re concerned about this decision because of the high fire danger in places like the bosque.

“Peralta’s so close to the bosque, that it just concerns me ’cause all the fires we’ve had recently,” says Alejandro Tarango, a concerned resident of Valencia County. Tarango is worried that aerial fireworks will cause even more fires in the area. However, Otero says those types of fireworks aren’t the issue: “We have restrictions on the types of fireworks—they can’t sell bottle rockets, things that can shoot off into areas. Aerials are designed to explode in the air and never come down hot.”

Valencia County Fire Chief Matt Propp says to his knowledge, Peralta is the only municipality that hasn’t imposed restrictions. Propp says unrestricted firework use in this area could be a recipe for disaster. “All it takes is a flaw on one. Coming down in the wrong spot, that maybe is 98 percent cool; But that two percent in the conditions we have right now with dry grass, dry brush, the trees, anything has the potential to be catastrophic this year,” Propp says, “Even though it allows fireworks in that area of the county, all the agencies respond together on a big event. So if we’re already having an issue with our resources, being we’re low-staffed, we don’t have enough trucks as it is and then we have to respond to a large incident, maybe as a result of fireworks then that’s obviously problematic for all of us.”

However, town leaders say the sale of fireworks benefit local businesses. “We have a youth organization—they’re called TNT Boxing. They sponsor I don’t know how many kids. They do afterschool tutoring, they do a lot of community services. And their main fundraiser for the last ten years or so has been selling fireworks for the Fourth of July,” Otero says, “It’s not that we’re just trying to generate Gross Receipts Tax. In this case, there’s a legitimate club that uses fireworks to support themselves. And they had a convincing case.”

“The whole fire season, the fireworks season, there’s never been a fire associated with fireworks here in the town of Peralta.”

People were questioning the decision not to restrict fireworks in the area because the mayor of Peralta has sold fireworks in the past. Mayor Bryan Olguin and Councilman Otero tell KRQE News 13 that the mayor has not sold fireworks in town for the past five years, and is not currently affiliated with any fireworks business.