It might be best to leave it to professionals this year |

It might be best to leave it to professionals this year

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado ” With hot and dry weather leading up to Independence Day, officials recommend people watch professional fireworks displays rather than blasting off into the holiday celebration on their own.

“Fire danger is high,” said Glenwood Springs Fire Department Fire Marshal Ron Biggers, pointing out that Garfield County and the Bureau of Land Management have issued fire bans.

“I’m really hoping that this year folks will really keep it quiet,” Police Chief Terry Wilson said Tuesday. “Especially as hot as it has been the past few days and the total lack of any rainfall we’ve had.”

The county’s fire ban went into effect May 26. It says it does not apply to fireworks. The BLM’s fire restrictions began Wednesday. It says no fireworks are allowed on federal lands. Colorado law prohibits fireworks that leave the ground or explode.

“With temperatures increasing and vegetation drying, fire danger at elevations below 8,000 is increasing,” the BLM said in a statement.

The White River National Forest hasn’t instituted any fire restrictions, but it said fireworks are illegal in Forest Service lands. It encourages people to make sure campfires are fully extinguished and be extra careful with anything that could start a fire.

“The hot temperatures of June have dried out the area’s vegetation, especially below 8,000 feet, increasing the potential for wildfires,” the WRNF said in a statement.

Wilson and Biggers said there weren’t any firework-related complaints in Glenwood by mid-week. Glenwood Springs police will issue citations for illegal fireworks without giving warnings first, Wilson said.

“If it flies or goes boom it’s a bad thing in these kinds of conditions,” Wilson said. “I just hope folks will really, really exercise great restraint with that because we’ve had enough fire calamities in this community in the last 10 years and we don’t need to start anything else.”

Professional displays in Glenwood, Carbondale, Rifle and the Apple Tree Park near New Castle will go on in the same locations as last year.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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