Ah, the Fourth of July, that joyous holiday when Americans celebrate their escape from monarchical rule, grill tubes of meat outdoors and watch sparkly things explode in the sky. At least one community, however, will have to content themselves with just the first two: there will be no fireworks displays in Breckenridge, Colo.
With Colorado enduring its worst forest fires in the state’s recorded history, fire safety experts consider Breckenridge the urban equivalent of a tinder box right now. Town officials said that it was a tough decision, but after consultation with the local Red, White & Blue Fire department (real name), they decided it was just too risky.
“These fireworks go 300 feet into the air and the embers could go anywhere,” Breckenridge Mayor Dr. John Warne told CBS. “We’ve had a lot of winds and the winds just take their toll.” The Mayor said he hasn’t had too many complaints about the cancelation. In fact, residents might be relieved. “Last year we had a fireworks show that didn’t make everybody happy and boy we heard about it in spades,” Warne said. “So this year canceling I think is the right decision.” Instead, the town will offer an air show and other activities.
A number of other Colorado towns, including Aspen and Steamboat Springs, have also nixed their nighttime fireworks display due to fire conditions across the state. Meanwhile, in northern Colorado, a 58,000 acre blaze started by lightning continues to burn after nine days, having destroyed more than 180 homes, according to CNN.