Business Feature: Bigger bang can be bought

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Paul Bennett, owner of Wholesale Fireworks Stand on U.S. Highway 60/84, examines some of the new fireworks Wednesday that are for sale. Bennett said patrons must be at least 16 years old to buy fireworks.

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Dee Wieland, owner of Road Runner Fireworks north of Clovis, said sales are up this year compared with last year because Curry County lifted its ban on certain types of fireworks.

Last year’s ban, established because of dry conditions, prohibited the sale and use of fireworks that rise higher than 12 feet and those accompanied by loud noises because they tend to have more explosives.

“Because of the amount of moisture, there has been no need to implement a ban relating to drought conditions,” said Clovis Fire Marshal Allan Silvers.

The city allows ground and hand-held sparkling fireworks, which fall under the safe and sane category.

“We’ve been doing this for 15 years, and I think we’ve been banned down to safe and sane at least five years,” Wieland said.

According to a city ordinance, fireworks shot in the air have to be a “relative or reasonable height,” Silvers said.

“The norm we’ve looked at is generally 12 feet,” said Silvers, who is also the county’s contact regarding fireworks.

Silvers also recommended keeping a 50-foot radius clear when shooting off fireworks and to shoot on personal property.

“A lot of people like to see stuff shoot up in the air,” said Chris Wilson, an employee at Mr. W Fireworks. “The older the kids are, even adults, they like a lot of stuff propelled into the air.”

What’s allowed in the city of Clovis
Ground and hand-held sparkling devices (safe and sane):
Cone fountains
Crackling devices
Cylindrical fountains
Ground spinners
Illuminating torches
Wheels

What’s allowed in Curry County
Aerial devices:
Aerial shell kit-reloadable tubes
Aerial spinners
Helicopters
Mines
Missile-type rockets
Multiple-tube devices
Roman candles
Shells
Stick-type rockets with a tube less than 5/8 inch in outside diameter and less than 3 1/2 inches long

Ground audible devices:
Chasers
Firecrackers

Source: Fire Marshal Allan Silvers; New Mexico Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act