Frisco cancels fireworks |

Frisco cancels fireworks

Lu Snyder

FRISCO – Frisco town officials announced Thursday they have cancelled the town’s July Fourth fireworks display, a decision Summit County residents seem to support.

“I think that’s a very smart decision,” said Frisco resident Leon Littlebird, adding the town’s preventative step against fire risk will set a good example for communities around the state.

Whether county fireworks displays will be cancelled has been a topic of conversation since early May, as the effects of the statewide drought continue to worsen. Initially, Frisco town officials said they expected to continue with the annual display, since the fireworks are shot over Dillon Reservoir.

“In light of the existing extreme fire danger conditions, the town feels it is the best decision not to endanger any forested areas or nearby property with fireworks this year,” Frisco interim town manager Tim Mack said in a press release.

In recent discussions between town officials and the Lake Dillon Fire Authority, fire officials recommended cancelling this year’s fireworks, Mack said.

Though Frisco’s display is over the water, there still is a chance winds could blow the burning fireworks into the surrounding forested area, said Mike Roll, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue public information officer. The fire department patrols the area each year, he said, “but there’s always that chance we’re going to miss something. We can’t be everywhere at all times.”

This year’s drought has affected more than just water levels. Roll said the moisture content of live trees is as low as lumber available in stores.

With wildfires burning across the state, residents seem to applaud Frisco’s decision, opting for safety over the traditional Independence Day celebration.

“We don’t need a small mishap to happen and everything to ignite,” said Frisco resident Matt Ridley.

Breckenridge resident Chad Bratton agreed.

“There’s no point in unnecessary risks,” he said.

Frisco resident Christian Ray said he thinks the decision to cancel is a great idea, pointing out the number of homes that have been threatened in the Hayman fire started by an illegal campfire.

“I sure don’t want my condo to burn down,” he said.

Not enough time has passed to know whether the cancellation might affect tourists’ plans, said Marie Anderson, marketing and events director at the Summit County Chamber of Commerce.

“Fireworks are nice to have, but they’re not all that’s going on in the county,” Anderson said, pointing out there are parades and concerts scheduled throughout the county on July Fourth.

Anderson doubts the lack of fireworks would cause most people to cancel vacation plans.

“Our county and governments are responsibly taking action to prevent additional fires,” Anderson said.

Many fireworks spectators take to the waters and watch the annual display from their boats. But Bob Evans, manager of the Dillon Marina, said he doesn’t think Frisco’s decision will have a large impact on the marina’s business July Fourth.

“I think people were expecting it anyway,” Evans said of the cancellation. “We definitely don’t want to cause another fire.”

Over at the Frisco Marina, concessionaire Bernie Baltich agreed.

“I think it is a wise decision, knowing how dry it’s been,” Baltich said. “If a spark ignites something around here, that would be a big problem.”

Breckenridge officials have not yet announced whether they’ll cancel their fireworks display this year, but Breckenridge events and communication coordinator Carol Craig said town officials would probably make their decision Monday – and it’s likely they too will cancel this year’s fireworks.

Frisco joins a growing number of municipalities across the state that have cancelled public fireworks displays. On Thursday, Pitkin County officials announced a ban on the displays. The towns of Vail, Eagle, Gypsum and Steamboat Springs also have canceled their fireworks displays.

And Avon officials said Thursday their “Largest in the Rockies” Fourth of July fireworks display will likely be cancelled.

Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or

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