Wildfires and Belt-Tightening Lead to Fewer Fireworks This July Fourth

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Sparklers, fireworks, and light shows are all Independence Day staples. But this year, due to droughts, wildfires, floods, and tight finances, America should expect to see less of the dazzling displays.

A result of various circumstances across the nation, many U.S. cities and towns find they must bar the use of private fireworks, and in some places, cancel some of America’s most successful public shows.

One example can be seen in Austin, Texas, where the Texas Symphony Orchestra’s Lady Bird Lake fireworks display has been canceled for the first time in its 35-year history. Don Hill, spokesman for the Texas Symphony Orchestra admitted, “We’re heartbroken.”

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Another is Arizona, where widespread wildfires have prompted officials to ban fireworks across the state from cities such as Flagstaff to Tucson.  In New Mexico, wildfires have resulted in more than 700,000 burned acres this season, a fact imploring New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to state, “The potential consequences (of private fireworks) are simply too severe and the patriotic thing to do this Fourth of July is to attend a public fireworks display, or celebrate the Fourth fireworks free.”

Fire Marshal Terrance McKinney told Reuters, “The conditions right now in the Amarillo area are essentially a tinderbox.”

The news comes as a disappointment to many who annually enjoy their hometown traditions. One such parent, Stephanie Narin, also the executive director of the Fourth on Broadway celebration said, “The hardest part to me was coming home to my 6- and 9-year old daughters and telling them that we weren’t going to have fireworks.”

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