BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper’s statewide fire ban does not include approved professional fireworks displays, but some mountain towns have nonetheless canceled their Fourth of July shows.
Both the governor’s ban and the fireworks cancelations are due to the fire conditions across Colorado. The latest fire danger report shows very high to extreme danger nearly everywhere in the state.
Town officials in Breckenridge had to make the tough call to cancel the fireworks show for the upcoming holiday. They say there was a lot of consulting with the local fire department, and even though the normal fireworks display is shot off in a massive paved parking lot, the nearby vegetation is just too dangerous right now.
“This is the first time we’ve canceled one since I’ve been mayor for five years, so it’s unusual,” Breckenridge Mayor Dr. John Warne said.
With the urging of the local fire department, ironically named Red White & Blue Fire District, the night time celebration of lights for the Fourth of July won’t be happening in Breckenridge.
“These fireworks go 300 feet into the air and the embers could go anywhere. We’ve had a lot of winds and the winds just take their toll,” Warne said.
Breckenridge police will also be out looking for private firework shows and writing tickets.
“I think we have a very high level of awareness and sense of what’s the right thing for our community,” Warne said.
Surprisingly the mayor says there hasn’t been much outcry about the cancelation.
“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 unless we get a ton of moisture.”
Despite that the Breckenridge Resort Chamber says it’s not concerned about business taking a dip.
“The lack of fireworks in Breckenridge is not going to affect tourism,” Rachel Zerowin with GoBreck.com said. “For the last 30 days Breckenridge Central Reservations, their main demand has been for the July 4 timeframe.”
This year the town has a number of other activities lined up, including an air show and other festivals for the long weekend.
“There’s activities going all the way from July 4 to July 8 and fireworks are just one small part of that,” Zerowin said.
A number of other towns like Aspen and Steamboat Springs have also already canceled the night’s display. Several other towns are also considering it.