While fireworks are still illegal within Laramie’s city limits, there are some changes this year as to where people can set off fireworks within the county.

In past years, fireworks were not allowed within half a mile of the city limits. This year, though, the buffer zone is no longer in place. A decision by the Albany County Commissioners earlier this year nullified the buffer zone between the city and the county. When it comes to fireworks, this means they can now be set off right outside of city limits.

Still, officials advise that people consider nearby structures, vegetation, and wind factors and use caution when setting off fireworks.

“Also take into account a pretty wide area,” says Laramie Fire Marshall Mark Doyle. “Our fall-out zone for the Fire in the Sky celebration is 600 feet, so they can do a lot of damage in a considerable amount of space.”

Crime Prevention Officer Kyle Groose with the Laramie Police Department adds that people should find a safe place in the county to use fireworks, and only with the landowner’s permission.

“Something that I would classify as a safe area would be a large area that’s just surrounded by dirt that doesn’t have any of the dry brush or dry landscaping that would cause a fire if fireworks were being used,” says Groose. “The other thing to look for would be nearby houses, nearby cars, nearby people—anybody that would be affected by the falling debris.”

A representative from the Laramie Police Department noted that if someone does use fireworks outside of city limits, and those fireworks cause damage within the city, the Laramie Police Department and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office would work together to investigate and determine if criminal charges would be pursued.