The City of Albuquerque is stepping up its Bosque patrols this weekend by putting police officers and firefighters on bikes, horses, boats, ATVS and brush trucks. The patrols will be in effect for the rest of the summer.
The City of Albuquerque is stepping up its Bosque patrols this weekend by putting police officers and firefighters on bikes, horses, boats, ATVS and brush trucks. The patrols will be in effect for the rest of the summer,
Each summer, the City of Albuquerque and surrounding areas experience times of heightened fire danger. This year is no different. With the current fire danger levels, combined with the increase recreation along the Bosque during the Fourth of July Holiday, Albuquerque police and fire departments have stepped up patrols starting this weekend.
“Our police and fire departments will be working very hard this summer to make sure the Bosque is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” Mayor Richard J. Berry said. “You would be hard press not to find one of our outstanding public safety employees on this Bosque this summer.”
The police department will be patrolling the Bosque on foot, bike, horse, ATVs and boats. The fire department will be patrolling the Bosque daily beginning on Saturday, June 26th and will be in place until after the Fourth of July to ensure that citizens are able to enjoy our Bosque areas without the fear of fire destroying it. Fire restrictions permanently in place for Open Space are: no smoking, no fireworks, no open fires (campfires, Bar-B-barbecues), and no camping.
Recently, the Albuquerque Police Department added a five-passenger air boat to its fleet. The airboat is capable of patrolling the river and responding to calls for service. The boat cost $60,000. APD funded it with federal grants.
"The new boat was placed in service on Monday and represents a significant increase in our ability to spot fires and illegal activity in the Bosque,” Albuquerque Police Open Space Lt. Jay Gilhooly said.
July accounts for about 10 percent of Albuquerque Fire Department’s calls. AFD sees about a 21-percent increase in calls for July, compared to June and August of the same year. During the Fourth of July weekend last year, AFD received over 1,300 illegal firework calls.
The Albuquerque Fire Code prohibits the possession, sale, or use of all aerial and ground audible devices within the city limits. Aerial devices include: Aerial Spinners, Helicopters, Mines, Missile-type Rockets, Roman Candles, Shells, Stick Type Rockets, and Chasers. Ground audible devices are: Chasers, and Firecrackers. Having possession of illegal fireworks is punishable with a citation and immediate confiscation of the items. Do not attempt to make your own fireworks. Homemade fireworks can lead to dangerous and unpredictable explosions.
Permissible fireworks which are allowed to be sold and discharged within the city are: Cone fountains, Crackling Devices, Cylindrical Fountains, Flitter Sparklers, Ground Spinners, Illuminating Torches, Toy Smoke Devices, and Wheels.
The Illegal fireworks hotline will be in service on July 3rd and 4th. The hotline will be manned by AFD personnel. Also, field units and Fire Marshal Inspectors will be patrolling the streets of Albuquerque investigating illegal firework complaints. The illegal fireworks hotline number is 505-833-7335. For complaints that arise on days other than July 3rd and 4th, call non-emergency dispatch number at 505-833-9370.
Citizens handling legal fireworks should:
- Use caution.
- Have a water source near at all times
- Do not use a fire extinguisher on fireworks.
- Have an adult present and never allow children to handle fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, trees, vegetation, and combustible materials.
- Read and follow directions carefully.
- Only light one firework at a time.
- Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water.
- Have a bucket handy in the area nearby.
- If there is a fire, leave the area immediately and call 911.
The safest way to enjoy this year’s Fourth of July is to leave firework displays to trained professionals. Freedom Fourth, held at Balloon Fiesta Park on July 4th, is an annual event that includes a performance by Honor Society, food and beverage vendors, and a spectacular fireworks show. Admission is free. Gates open at 3pm.
To report illegal fireworks, call 833-7390 or 505-833-7335.