I am extremely disappointed that local governments are blindly canceling commercial firework programs in Colorado this year because of the dry conditions. While being prudent is always good, it could have been handled in a more systematic manner.
For example, Sheriff Ted Mink of Jefferson County canceled all the commercial fireworks displays in his county. I think this was short-sighted and a political move to appease some of the mountain communities. It was an easy way out.
Sheriff Mink probably should have reviewed each of the commercial programs individually. This is more a risk-based approach and would have fit the largest county in the state of Colorado. One that encompasses the western metro Denver area up into the mountains.
One commercial firework display that was a casualty that probably shouldn’t have been is the city of Westminster. It is located within the northern suburbs of Denver and completely surrounded by a community. It is set off at a park. The fire danger is low and the potential of spread is low. In fact, if you move that display less than one-quarter of a mile it wouldn’t be in Jefferson County.
Now I agree that displays in the foothills and mountains should have been canceled this year, it is just too dry. But displays that are in the metro area being canceled for the reason that they just fall within Jefferson County is just plain short-sighted.
I found that it interesting that people wanted the Colorado Rockies to cancel their fireworks display this year. This display is in the middle of downtown. It had no chance of starting a wildfire. None at all. But thankfully the Denver Fire Chief and Colorado Rockies used good reason.
Thankfully and finally people are not using personal fireworks and these have been banned. These should be permanently banned in Colorado. These devices cause more injuries and damage than any commercial fireworks could do in a lifetime. I urge the Colorado legislature to permanently ban them.
We need to be prudent and safer this summer. It’s extremely dry and there have been many fires around the state because of this drought. But we need to use common sense and a risk-based approach in the future. To have a blanket restriction on commercial shows is not a good way to manage a county or state.