BULLHEAD CITY — A long-time resident told members of the Bullhead City Council this week that use of fireworks within the city has gone out of control.

Sue DeMarco said people in her neighborhood last week shot off an array of fireworks — including illegal bottle rockets and other prohibited aerial pieces — for five days. The fire department needed to come out to her neighborhood, she said.

“There was a brush fire two doors down from me,” she said.

DeMarco added that she had trouble keeping her dog calm because of all of the loud booms, hisses and whistles.

“My dog almost had a heart attack,” she told the council members.

Some people who own dogs aren’t as diligent as they should be, said DeMarco, a founding member of Saving Animals In Need Together. The fearful animals run away because of the loud fireworks unless their owners are highly watchful, she said.

And, this year, the shelter was closed over the Fourth of July weekend. That meant some dogs were roaming the streets in the summer heat, she pointed out.

“We need to do something,” DeMarco stressed.

City Manager Toby Cotter responded to DeMarco’s concerns.

“The city has zero power to restrict sales of fireworks,” he said.

The Arizona Legislature made it legal to sell and set off permissible fireworks in 2010. Cities, including Bullhead City, had to update their fire codes in response.

Otherwise, “we would have never changed our code,” Cotter said.

Some jurisdictions allow sales and use of fireworks that may be prohibited in other jurisdictions, leading to an abundance of legally purchased but illegally used pyrotechnics. 

In Bullhead City, fireworks that fly into the air or explode with a report — that is, go bang — generally are illegal.

Bullhead City allows for selling and use of permissible fireworks for two periods each year: One to mark annual celebrations of Fourth of July and another to usher in each new year.

Mohave County residents weren’t permitted to shoot off fireworks for Fourth of July because of a burn ban. Bullhead City returned to its own burn ban rules as of July 6.

Extremely dry vegetation, heavy fuel loads, wind and extreme temperatures necessitated the burn bans enacted this spring.  

The city received several complaints about use of fireworks. Of the 132 calls the Bullhead City Fire Department received from July 3 through July 5, there were 18 for brush fires as well as three each for dumpster fires and smoke investigations.    

The Bullhead City Police Department wrote one citation for use of aerial fireworks, the department said.

DeMarco said she was willing to create a petition to change the code. Cotter, however, said it would be better for those who want to see a change in allowed use and sales of fireworks to focus on getting the attention of state legislators.

“There were more fireworks than ever before,” Cotter added.

Part of that might have been residents’ response to the cancellation of planned professional fireworks displays.

(5) comments

Desert Bat

People are just celebrating their freedoms - such as freedom from what should be regarded as criminal surveillance whereby all privacy is stolen from citizens through police cameras everywhere, and by other means you may not even want to know about and they certainly don't want you to know about. There are other freedoms as well to celebrate - rampant police crime which never gets acknowledged, for example. I'd hate to live in a country where stating these things openly results in your home being illegally entered and your possessions stolen or damaged. Now it's not all bad - I feel like setting off fireworks every time I hear about more billions and trillions the Orange-haired organ grinder and his Fed primate is giving away to prospective voting blocs and fellow billionaires. Long live freedom.

Robert M

"Celebrating their freedoms" - such as starting arson fires, damaging others' property, generally behaving like an inconsiderate twit....yeah, that's freedom alright! By the way, folks who live responsible lives don't fear "police cameras"! And the politicians giving away "billions and trillions" are the Pelosi/Shumer led Socialist Democrats.


If it was really about celebrating their freedoms and strictly that, they wouldn't had been lighting them off July 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and waiting until 1am to light off the loudest booms. It was intentional disruption, and you slamming our police/president, why not check out Victorville in CA where it's a desert you can do whatever you want (except protect yourself) and people die daily, robbed every week, losed loved ones, end up with PTSD. You have plenty of liberal utopias but like a virus your only interest is to spread until you've infected the whole country. Not everyone wants to vote for an old man with dementia either that doesn't know his wife from his sister, or what state he's even in at times. Not everyone wants their city burned down due to "protests" which occurs even when our police do the right thing which out here I haven't even seen police brutality as you'll most likely see that in your democrat cities.

Wile E Coyote

I hate to be the Grinch, but down here in the River Bend area, over the weekend period, the racket made by fireworks was excessive as well. In fact, the noise levels were the loudest and most widespread that I've experienced since I moved here 13 years ago. If I had to guess, I'd have to say that at least 90% of the fireworks I saw detonate were of the illegal variety. Kinda makes a mockery out of the law, doesn't it?

Kenn Stark

It was completely out of control! Vacant lots with dead brush. Even the medians were subject to being rained on. Maybe the places of purchase should be held accountable along with the party involved if a "flame up" occurs? Alot of it went on for at least week including unexceptable hours.

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