Public safety officials report a quieter Fourth of July compared to 2021

A boy scout troop carries an American flag down Main Street in Frisco during the town's annual parade on July 4, 2022.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Daily News

Numbers from the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels took a dip during the July Fourth holiday weekend compared to 2021, and local public safety officials said emergency response calls decreased, too. The county saw no major public safety incidents, with only one structure fire and a handful of reports of illegal fireworks.

The Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels saw fewer westbound vehicles on all but one day between July 1 and July 4, 2022, compared to 2021.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

From July 1 to July 4, the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels saw lower traffic heading both east and west with the exception of July 1. On average, traffic declined by more than a 1,000 vehicles per day each way. Westbound traffic declined by about 1,387 vehicles per day, while eastbound traffic declined by about 1,012 vehicles per day.

July 1, a Friday, was the only day to see both increased eastbound and westbound traffic, with 5,351 more vehicles headed west in 2022 than in 2021, and 99 more vehicles headed east in 2022 than in 2021.

The per-day difference in traffic was mostly down through the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels during the holiday weekend. July 1, 2022, was the only day with both eastbound and westbound traffic above 2021 levels.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Otherwise though, numbers were down. On average from July 1 to July 4, the tunnel saw 1,387 fewer vehicles headed west per day in 2022 compared to 2021. Similarly, eastbound vehicles dropped by an average of about 1,011 per day.

The Breckenridge Tourism Office won’t know for certain if local bookings showed a similar decrease until mid-July, Breckenridge Tourism Office public relations manager Lauren Swanson said. Based on its June 15 report, Fourth of July bookings were down 13% over 2021. That percentage, however, doesn’t account for last two weeks of bookings between June 15 and the holiday weekend, she said.

Public safety officials report fewer calls and no major incidents

Most Summit County public safety officials reported a quieter year than 2021. Officials reported fewer calls about fires, illegal fireworks and major incidents.

All in all, the Breckenridge area had a “very quiet weekend,” Red, White & Blue Deputy Chief Administrator Jay Nelson said.

Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District only received 21 calls for service from July 1 to July 4, Nelson said. During that same period in 2019, it received 41 calls, he said. Following the COVID-19 pandemic-induced “off year” that was 2020, he said Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District received 46 calls in 2021.

Of the 21 calls received over the weekend this year, Nelson said 14 were medical calls, two came from fire alarms with no fire, one came from a structure fire in Breckenridge and the remaining four were general calls for service.

Red, White & Blue received no calls related to fireworks, Nelson said.

The drop-off in calls for service could be attributed to Fourth of July falling on a Monday, he said. The district usually receives more calls for service when the holiday falls earlier in the weekend, he said.

The one small structure fire was at the Blue Stag Saloon in Breckenridge on Monday. The fire happened late in the evening and occurred when a fire ignited in the restaurant’s pizza oven, Nelson said.

Summit Fire & EMS also saw a decrease in calls. It was a surprisingly mellow holiday weekend given the number of people in the county, Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher said.

Summit Fire & EMS received no calls or reports of wildfires or structure fires over the weekend, Lipsher said. Additionally, it only received a couple reports of illegal fireworks. Lipsher said he suspected rainy weather may have played a role in tamping down illegal fireworks.

The sheriff’s office also reported no major incidents. Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said he was pleased by how the county handled its first July Fourth in recent memory with no fire restrictions in place. He said the county received fewer calls about fires and illegal fireworks. He said the county received fewer reports of illegal fireworks than in prior years.

In general, he said the county’s Fourth of July festivities are becoming busier and busier year after year.

Call volume compared to normal weekends was up, he said.

Dillon Police Chief Cale Osborn said the town of Dillon didn’t experience anything noteworthy. The Bob Dylan concert brought some parking issues and intoxicated people with it, he said. Overall, incidents were down for the weekend, he reported.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.