Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reno Council discusses regulating fireworks

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RENO — Reno City Council discussed actions it could take to limit the use of fireworks without completely removing that right at the Jan. 17 meeting.

Council members questioned how they could regulate fireworks to prevent fires or avoid creating a nuisance for other residents.

“I’m not opposed to fireworks,” council member Tod Siedell said during the meeting. “What I'm opposed to is the marathon shows that go on for days and days and days, and it's like as long as I've got this window, then I'm going to shoot them. I think it's a little ridiculous for people who’ve got animals, children, anybody that works during the week or works at night or whatever like this, and it's just saying, ‘Well, sometime between June 15 and July 15, you can shoot them off because it's the Fourth of July.’ I don't want to tell somebody they can't shoot fireworks, but we have to be a little reasonable.”

Briar-Reno Fire Chief Moses Druxman said banning fireworks may not be the best choice because the fire department may not be able to keep up with enforcement of that ban and people in Reno don’t want to lose their right to use fireworks. Instead, Druxman suggested the city may be able to limit aerial fireworks or designate time periods before and after holidays for shooting off fireworks.

With the exception of 2023, Briar-Reno firefighters have responded to fires related to fireworks over the past five years, Druxman said.

Druxman and Code Enforcement Officer Joe Harris are expected to work together to see what options the council has. The city attorney may also have to weigh in on the legality of certain restrictions.