SANTA FE (KRQE) — A firefighter turned state representative is pushing a proposal to allow cities and counties to cut down on their fire danger.
Rep. Emily Kane, D-Albuquerque, is sponsoring a bill to allow local governments to ban fireworks if an area's fire danger is rated high, very high or extreme, is moving forward after a House committee passed the bill on a party-line vote.
Under Kane's legislation, city and county government could hold a hearing and vote on whether to partially or totally ban fireworks sales and use when fire danger is high.
"Many fires that I have responded to have been directly related to a source of ignition we still don't have the ability to control, fireworks," said Kane, an Albuquerque firefighter. "I think it's very fair to the fireworks industry, and it prevents them from having the big scare of a state fireworks ban ever happening."
Fireworks vendors and lobbyists disagreed.
"I think it's terrible," said Eddie Arnett, co-owner of Amy's Fireworks in Roswell. "This bill, if it goes through will kill [our business]."
The fireworks bill has the backing of Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, but it has a long way to go before it gets to her desk. The bill still has another House committee, a full House vote and the Senate to go through before it can land on the governor's desk.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.