Incident occurred: Monday, June 20 at 9:15 AM
Police and Fire units responded to a
brush fire incident on the Pinnacle Peak hiking trail where a 21 yr old male ignited what was described as a consumer firework that discharged “flaming balls”, which then started a small brush fire. The fire was initially addressed by the male subject, park stewards and other hikers before it got out of control.
The male was contacted by SPD officers in the parking lot where he was identified as Joseph Viganola, a 21 yr old New Jersey resident. He told officers that he was with a group of friends hiking the trail. At about the ¾ mile marker, he decided to set off the consumer fireworks devices. One of the flaming projectiles ignited a fire near the trail and he dumped his water bottle on it to help control it. Other hikers who heard the fireworks go off alerted park stewards and stopped to help put out the fire as well.
Mr. Viganola said he purchased the fireworks at a tent near 101 freeway and Frank Lloyd Wright, so he thought that it was legal to set off them off in the city. Mr. Viganola was not arrested at the scene, however, charges are being filed for the fireworks-related city code violation.
State laws do not allow local communities to restrict the sale of consumer fireworks and other novelty devices like sparklers, by local ordinance; however, the City of Scottsdale specifically prohibits the use of any type of consumer firework within the city limits. Last year’s move to restrict fireworks use in the city was taken by the Scottsdale City Council because of the threat to our urban recreation areas and the sensitive McDowell Sonoran Preserve area.
It is important that citizens and visitors know the local rules related to fireworks use.
The use of all fireworks, including permissible consumer fireworks as defined under state law, within the City of Scottsdale is prohibited except as authorized by Scottsdale Fire Department permit.
The fire department has published fireworks related rules for the City of Scottsdale at:
Contact: Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ford