Press release: Summit fire danger climbing; please leave Fourth of July fireworks to the experts




29 June 2017


Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


Summit fire danger climbing; please leave Fourth of July fireworks to the experts 

Summit County’s wildfire danger is creeping back up to high just in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, prompting local officials to remind residents and visitors that fireworks that fly or explode are illegal – so please leave the show to the experts.

Individuals caught shooting off forbidden fireworks can be subjected to fines or even time in jail.

“Summit County law-enforcement agencies will be responding quickly to all fireworks calls,” said Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons. “We ask our community members and visitors to please use only legal fireworks and to use them responsibly. We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy July Fourth weekend.”

More than 30,000 fires are started by fireworks annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and more than 9,000 people arrive in hospital emergency rooms as a result of fireworks-related accidents — many with severe injuries. The message is clear from Summit County’s fire departments: The use of fireworks is dangerous and should be left to the professionals.

Please note that fireworks of any kind are strictly prohibited within the White River National Forest.

Although some fireworks such as sparklers are sold in area stores and permissible for use by private citizens on their property, they still can burn at 1,200 degrees and should be used only under the strict supervision of adults.

There are many public fireworks displays throughout Summit County on and around the Fourth of July, including:

“By leaving fireworks shows to the professionals, the risk of injuries and unintended fires is virtually eliminated,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “Working together, our communities will remain safer for all during this Independence Day celebration.”

Campsite safety tips:

  • Clear campfire site down to bare soil.
  • Circle the pit with rocks.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, dry grass, and leaves.
  • Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • When putting out a campfire, drown the fire, stir it, and drown it again.
  • Be careful with gas lanterns, barbeques, gas stoves, and anything that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.

Barbecue safety tips:

  • Keep grills away from combustibles, including the outside of your house, balcony or garage.
  • Check your gas grill hose integrity and hose connections to make sure gas is not leaking from your gas grill. Apply soapy water to hoses and connections to reveal any leaks.
  • Enforce a “kid-free zone” of 36 inches around the grill. Also keep your pets from underfoot.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.

For more information regarding fireworks and any general safety concern, please contact Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue at (970) 262-5100.



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