The town of Breckenridge shut down the use of usually permissible fireworks Thursday, a week ahead of July Fourth festivities.
The ban, which includes sparklers, ground spinners and small fountains, comes just days after the first wildfire scare of the season was ignited by a bottle rocket in the French Creek neighborhood.
“Breckenridge will take a zero tolerance (approach) towards illegal fireworks and urge the public to follow the rules during these extreme dry conditions,” Breckenridge Mayor John Warner stated in a release. “I understand the frustration that some people have with this restriction as I, like so many others, have fond memories of sparklers on July 4th, but we are living in the middle of a dry forest and I ask everyone to abide by the law.”
The town-administered fireworks display is still slated to go on as planned at 9:30 p.m. July Fourth, along with a host of other Independence Day events and activities. Still, if conditions remain dry, the town show could be canceled as well, according to the statement.
For now, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials are still allowing campfires on federal forest land as the holiday approaches.
Summit County is currently under a high fire danger rating, but has been shielded from more extreme drought and wildfire conditions by late season snowfall that continued throughout April and May.
Town officials noted that in the Summit County environment, at this time of year, even small sparks can start a wildfire.
Summit County has escaped a serious wildfire in recent years, but a number of significant fires remain active across the state. The biggest one currently burning is the West Fork Complex fire near Pagosa Springs in southern Colorado. It had grown to more than 83,000 acres by Thursday afternoon.
Warner nodded to the ongoing incidents in his statement on the local fireworks ban.
“Our hearts go out to our fellow Coloradoans that are affected by the wildfires around the state,” he said.