CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Forest Service rangers are continuing to investigate an illegal fireworks display from the top of Mount Evans following a report by CBS4 on Tuesday. Rangers surveyed the area and found “substantial amounts” of debris left behind at the summit from the fireworks.
Federal enforcement officers launched an investigation after CBS4 asked questions about a massive fireworks show at the summit. More than 100 cars drove to the top and brought loads fireworks with them on Sunday night, according to a person who was at the event and provided CBS4 with video. That man, who didn’t want to be identified fearing prosecution, says most of the people who showed up for the meetup and cruise assumed the event organizers had permission for the fireworks.
He says 300 to 400 people were part of the cruise and at least 100 cars made it to the summit to take part in the fireworks show.
He says that in hindsight “I regret this terribly, it was not smart and knowing what I know now is sick it happened.” He says police officers provided a partial “escort” through Idaho Springs for the group, which was another reason he thought the event was sanctioned and legal.
Nationwide Productions, a Denver metro area car club, promoted the 9th Annual End of the Summer Cruise to the Summit on social media with a flyer. Dozens of people gathered and cheered as fireworks burst overhead.
Nationwide Productions denies they were involved in the fireworks directly.
Peter Vrolijk, the executive director of Friends of Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness, said he was deeply dismayed by the news.
“I have thought a lot about words like shocked, angered and none of these words seem adequate,” Vrolijk said.
Fireworks are always illegal in Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and are also banned under current Clear Creek County Fire restrictions.
Idaho Springs Police officials confirm they worked with event organizers ahead of the cruise to provide some escort through the small town, but no officers were at the summit as the illegal fireworks were being fired. Officers were unaware of the fireworks until CBS4’s reporting aired Tuesday.