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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials June 29, 2015


3/3/2012 10:01:00 PM
Editorial: Ban firework sales to avoid catastrophe
The Daily Courier


District 1 Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, has been a busy little bee this legislative session. And one of her 17 bills would have her be a busy little bear - Smokey the Bear.

When lawmakers slightly more than one year ago approved a bill legalizing the sale of fireworks across the state, we are sure they did not realize the mixed message they were sending by also allowing cities and towns to ban their use during high fire danger periods.

Ban fireworks in the desert? While desert areas can see brush fires, wildfires and high fire danger are commonplace - if not an ever-present threat - in the forested parts of the state, such as in Yavapai and Coconino counties.

The Daily Courier's educational stories in 2011, when this area was entering fire season, worked to help people understand the law and why they could not and should not use fireworks. However, even during high fire danger times, it was ordinary to see massive retail tents selling banned-use products, including cone fountains, ground spinners and toy smoke devices.

It was confusing.

"Why would you allow sales but not use? That's like telling a child that it's OK to buy cigarettes, but they can't smoke them," Fann told the Courier recently.

Thus, her bill (HB 2361) would allow fireworks to be banned in these two northern Arizona counties - simply in an attempt to prevent fireworks from sparking wildfires.

As we approach the 10-year anniversary this spring of Prescott's devastating Indian Fire, we realize that Smokey the Bear's message of "Only you can prevent wildfires" comes with a catch. Fann has heard local fire chiefs and fire marshals' message: Selling fireworks and banning their use does not work.

We must allow cities and towns in these areas, and during fire-cautious times, to ban the sale and use of fireworks.

The bill's scheduled consideration Friday on the floor of the House was postponed; however, we cannot wait too long for lawmakers to fix what they have wrought. No fires in Arizona have happened as a result of fireworks - yet. But why test it?

It is not a matter of if, but when and how bad.






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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2012
Article comment by: Real American DISABLED VET USN Retired

I think having your GUN go off ACCIDENTLY at ALBERTSON's and the bullet goes through a window and HITS a GAS PUMP and a sparks blows it up killing 34 people would be worse..BUT we don't need any kind of LEGALIZED fireworks around here (BUT WE DO) . IT SHOULD BE LOCALLY CONTROLLED..

Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Article comment by: to: Dana Hoyer

you said "BAD decision period just like letting any joker carry a gun."

So sorry you don't like my constitutional right to carry a firearm! Only someone with a tiny hat size could equate the right to own a gun with playing around with sparklers. You don't get it and never will!


Posted: Monday, March 05, 2012
Article comment by: Steele Pickers

What satisfaction comes from bashing Mr Steele's postings?
Does the man not have the right to exercise his right to freedom of speech no matter how often he chooses to exercise that right? Get off his case already!
No, I do not know this man personally or professionally only through his sharing on this board which he has every right to do and you have every right to ignore his comments but far too many readers choose their right to express themselves far too many times at the expense of Mr Steele.
I so happen to agree with what Mr Steele is stating above about fireworks in the hands of the irresponsible buyers of these devices. Arizona is a tinder box and it wouldn't take much to get that flame going and spreading especially during these strong windy days.
There are crazies all over so shall we hand them a flame thrower and set them free because we live in the land of the free? Get real!


Posted: Monday, March 05, 2012
Article comment by: PO'd Prescottonian

Big E, I agree, except that no one can pay the amounts that can easily come from a forest fire, not to mention the fact that even paying the money does not put things back to before the fire.

There are simply too many people in Arizona now. Ban fires, fireworks, smoking, bars, old cars, dogs, squirtgun fights, offroad driving, fast driving, slow driving, trespassing, shooting in the forest, $#!77ing in the forest, living in the forest. Ban it all, because some idiot will make us all pay for it if we don't.

There are a good many adults I should have served high-speed pies to when I was below the age of majority, and I fear I may not have the chance again until I am old and they are dead. Every damn thing can land you in jail now.


Posted: Monday, March 05, 2012
Article comment by: Just Sayin

And in this year only the discussion of fireworks has made the news and not incidents of poor use.

Cigarettes being thrown out of car windows are a larger issue.



Posted: Monday, March 05, 2012
Article comment by: BIG E

Ban pencil sales to avoid bad term papers, ban car sales to avoid damage to roads, ban ice cream sales to avoid headaches, and ban Tom Steele to avoid stupid postings. Where does Governmental crap stop? If you buy fireworks, burn something, and cost others money, YOU PAY! Try thinking, not banning.

Posted: Monday, March 05, 2012
Article comment by: Rita Stricker

Oh, look! Karen Fann wants yet another law to restrict freedom! And the editor agrees! Surprise surprise. @ editor: Every time a child sees a grownup light up a cigarette or drink a beer, the child is learning that it's okay to buy things but not okay to use them. IF YOU'RE A CHILD. Here's an idea -- raise your own children, just as I raised mine, and when they grow up, let's all hold each and every individual accountable for what each individual does, not for what others do, or for what you're afraid they might do, or for what you're afraid they might be thinking about doing.

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Finally, a spark of common sense out of one of our elected representatives, Iím so amazed I could just pass out. Great job Karen!

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Dana Hoyer

legalizing fireworks in the state of Arizona was a BAD decision period just like letting any joker carry a gun.
I am pro gun all the way and i love fireworks but the people in Arizona have not shown they can responsibly own either fireworks or guns.
Oh well i will waiting and watching to see what happens here in this area in regards to idiots with fireworks.


Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Our local economy is still in the dumps.

And little Miss Fann is out there attempting to undo the moronic law her fellow Republicans passed and her beloved train-wreck of a Governor Brewer signed. Great priorities, Miss Fann.

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: amos fodder

". Karen Fann, R-Prescott, has been a busy little bee this legislative session. And one of her 17 bills would have her be a busy little bear "

Usually it is the Democrats who think they can solve every problem by passing another bill.


Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Editorial writer paints us all guilty, without being charged

Yes, let's restrict everyone even more.

It's only right.

We are all bad.

Guilty. Guilty! GUILTY!!!


Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

We have enough natural fires from lighting strikes, we don't need assistance from fireworks. Driving around we know there are irresponsible people everywhere. Most fireworks create high temperatures capable of major devastation. Good for Karen Fann to present this legislation. Now get it passed.

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Fearless Independent

"When lawmakers slightly more than one year ago approved a bill legalizing the sale of fireworks across the state, we are sure they did not realize the mixed message they were sending by also allowing cities and towns to ban their use during high fire danger periods."

As a fifth generation Arizonan, I think I could have called this one as a disaster waiting to happen


Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2012
Article comment by: Sparky the Dog

Fireworks don't start fires---people start fires---with fireworks.



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