A brush fire Monday near Sierra Vista, likely was caused by fireworks, a city official said.
The fire in Garden Canyon Wash that burned about five acres, was “most likely caused by the careless use of fireworks,” according to a news release from the city of Sierra Vista.
Investigators from the Sierra Vista fire and police departments found evidence that fireworks sparked the blaze. The remains of the fireworks and other evidence have been sent to a state crime lab for further examination, according to the news release. Both agencies are investigating leads and witness information to identify the person responsible for the fire.
A Sierra Vista ordinance makes it illegal for people other than licensed professional to use fireworks on public property including parks, schools or a public right of way.
Since January, Sierra Vista fire and police have responded to six fires where burning vegetation quickly got out of control and caused damage to nearby structures. Currently there is a citywide ban on open burning.
There also have been 16 roadside fires recently, likely caused by cigarettes tossed from vehicles. The most recent roadside fire occurred June 19 on State Route 90 near Airport Road, shutting down north- and south-bound traffic, one lane in each direction, the news release stated.
“Throwing cigarettes from a vehicle is criminal littering,” Cpl. Scott Borgstadt, spokesman for the Sierra Vista Police Department, said in the news release. “If it causes a fire, the person responsible would face charges of reckless burning.”
Given lower-than-average rainfall last winter and summer’s high temperatures, wildfire danger is high, according to the news release.