NEWS

Breckenridge cancels July 4 fireworks

Date: Jul. 2nd, 2007

BY NICOLE FORMOSA
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
July 2, 2007

BRECKENRIDGE — High fire danger in the county mixed with dry conditions in local forests prompted Breckenridge officials on Monday to call off the public fireworks display planned for the Fourth of July holiday.

“The combination of mountain pine beetle infested trees and the lack of recent moisture puts our community at risk for a wildfire and we felt it was in the public’s best interest to cancel this year’s fireworks,” Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman said.

The fireworks show in Frisco, in which explosives are shot over the waters of Lake Dillon Reservoir, will take place as scheduled on Wednesday evening.

Fire danger in the county continues to sit at very high, although that could be bumped up to the highest level — extreme — in the next few days based on fire conditions, said Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue public information officer Brandon Williams.

Lake Dillon firefighters have doused two small wildland fires in Silverthorne in the past week. The first sparked early last week behind Silverthorne Automotive Group after lightning struck the area during a dry thunderstorm. The first crew on-scene quickly put out the two-foot flames before they spread.

The second fire, which appears to have been human caused, ignited Sunday in a field adjacent to the Blue River Apartments and was limited to a 10-foot by 20-foot area, Williams said.

Neither blaze caused significant damage and the county has otherwise been spared of any wildland fire activity.

“We’ve been lucky. That’s the truth of it — we’ve just been lucky,” Williams said.
Williams urged people to be the eyes and ears of the fire department and alert authorities if they spot anything out of the ordinary around the county or in the backcountry.

“The earlier we can get on (a fire), the quicker we can get a handle on it,” he said.
Even with fire danger creeping toward the rare extreme rating, Sheriff John Minor said county officials have no plans to increase the existing fire restrictions from Level 1 to Level 2, which would ban all open fires, even in improved campgrounds.

“If people practice common sense and adhere to current restrictions we should be OK,” he said.

Minor said he is crossing his fingers that the July monsoon season will bring some much needed rain to the county. He and fire officials will re-evaluate fire conditions in the coming weeks, but if the current fire restrictions “get us through this weekend, I think it will be very rare that we go to another level,” he said.

All the local police departments, as well as the District Attorney’s Office, are taking a zero-tolerance approach to violations of the fire restrictions.

Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at nformosa@summitdaily.com.