2 July 2015
Steve Lipsher, LDFR Public-Information Officer
Office: (970) 262-5209
Summit County law enforcement, fire departments urge a safe, happy Fourth
Summit County’s law-enforcement agencies and fire departments want residents and visitors to keep safety in mind as they celebrate the Fourth of July in the high country this weekend.
Patrols will be out all weekend looking for people shooting off illegal fireworks and jeopardizing our forests and communities with unsafe fires.
“Our fire danger is rated at ‘moderate,’” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino, “and that means that a wildfire could start from careless campers abandoning a fire or someone setting off a single firecracker.”
Fireworks that fly or explode are illegal in Colorado, noted Summit County Sheriff John Minor.
“Individuals caught setting off these types of fireworks can be subjected to a ticket, fines of up to $750 and as much as six months in jail,” Minor said. “Many jurisdictions in Summit County maintain a complete ban on all fireworks, including the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne.”
Additionally, fireworks of all types are prohibited on U.S. Forest Service land.
Although some fireworks such as sparklers are sold in area stores and permissible for use by private citizens on their own property, they still can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and should be used only under the strict supervision of adults.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average 230 Americans go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. In addition, approximately 40 percent of fireworks injuries occur to children younger than 15 years.
“The fact is, fireworks are dangerous and should be left to the professionals,” said Red, White & Blue Fire Chief Jim Keating. “We have wonderful fireworks displays scheduled Saturday night throughout Summit County, and there is no need to risk injury or fire by setting off fireworks on your own.”
Copper Mountain Fire Chief Gary Curmode also reminds campers that they should never leave campfires unattended and always have a bucket of water or an extinguisher close at hand to stop an escaping fire.
“Campfires should be extinguished fully by dousing them with water, stirring the embers and dousing them again until the coals are cool to the touch of your hand,” he said.
Law-enforcement officials also are reminding motorists that the penalty for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are severe – including loss of driving privileges – and cops will be out in force all weekend.
“We have zero tolerance for drivers who endanger themselves and others,” said Silverthorne Police Chief Mark Hanschmidt. “With the free Summit Stage buses running throughout the county or by designating a sober driver at all times, there is no excuse for driving under the influence.”