ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo (CBS4) – The statewide fire ban ordered by Gov. John Hickenlooper includes the use of private fireworks. But still fireworks are being sold in Colorado.
Wildfires roar across Colorado, and many are wondering why fireworks are for sale when they can’t be used.
Fireworks stand owners say that the weeks before the Fourth of July are what they rely on for their entire year’s salary. Right now, sales are about 5 percent of what they should be. These vendors hope that people buy fireworks now and save them for when the restrictions are lifted. Some people in the community, including law enforcement, say a product that is illegal to use should not be sold.
On Wednesday in Jefferson County, fireworks stands were all business, by Thursday they were out of business. Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink made the executive decision to ban all sales.
“Obviously there was some criteria involved in that and that criteria is the fire hazard, the rise and the public safety issues that we considered,” Mink told CBS4.
The Douglas County Commissioners had a resolution in place that allowed the Sheriff to enact the ban on sales. In Arapahoe County, it’s still business as usual.
“If I had the authority to ban sales, I’d ban them immediately,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
The Arapahoe County Commissioners didn’t take the necessary steps to have a resolution in place. Now they say that their hands are tied for this fireworks season. The county does require that each fireworks stand post a sign reminding customers for the fire ban. Sheriff Robinson also delivered letters to each of the vendors asking that they implement the responsible measure of “ceasing the sale of fireworks”.
CBS4 bought fireworks at five stands in Jefferson County, Arapahoe County and Adams County. At each location we were told about the ban when we asked if we could use the fireworks. Each of the vendors said that sales were down this year, and offered us some creative options for using their products.
“My birthday is in the winter. And I don’t know if you’ve ever done fireworks in the snow, it reflects the light and is so cool,” one sales clerk told us.
“Just pray for rain,” said another. “ That’s what it really comes down to. There is a burn ban on right now.”
More counties and cities cutting out professional fireworks shows as well as the use of private fireworks. Jefferson and Douglas Counties extended their bans to professional shows which led to cancellations of shows in Golden and Lone Tree. Arapahoe County also extended its ban to professional shows forcing Englewood to cancel it’s show.
Boulder, Frisco, and Grand Lake have also canceled their professional shows.
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith