Aspen fireworks a go so far |

Aspen fireworks a go so far

Charles AgarThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN Fourth of July fireworks are a go on Aspen Mountain, Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said Tuesday. Braudis, however, cautioned that high winds or a red flag warning from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration could cancel the event.Right now the likelihood of a launch on Aspen Mountain is 90 percent, Braudis said.Aspen Fire Chief Darryl Grob and Ron Baar, a volunteer firefighter with wildfire expertise, inspected the launch site Friday and said fuel conditions on the north side of the mountain are green.Things look pretty safe, Braudis said.Fire officials will continue to monitor the situation this week, and crews will call in a spot weather forecast two hours before the show on Friday evening.Braudis said the volunteer crew of pyrotechnicians will use water hoses from the mountains snowmaking system to douse the area before the event.Because of dry conditions last summer, the Fourth of July fireworks were held at the Aspen Golf Club to minimize fire danger. The city golf course, said Braudis, is a backup site; Aspen Mountain is the preferred venue.Fireworks crews would not have time to move the display to another site, said Tim Cottrell, head pyrotechnic for the team of volunteers.Fireworks pose an inherent danger, Cottrell added, and crews commonly battle flare-ups during shows; there was a small blaze during the Food & Wine Classic fireworks on Aspen Mountain last month.But conditions are good so far, Cottrell said.Were very confident that it looks as good up here as its ever looked, he said. Cottrell has been setting off fireworks on Aspen Mountain since 1974. (His crews also run shows in Basalt, Snowmass Village and near the Wildcat subdivision.)To me, [Aspen Mountain] is the venue for Aspen, he said.Braudis added that although there is no fire ban, personal fireworks and explosives are prohibited.Anything that explodes or leaves the ground (including firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets, M-80s and Roman candles) are illegal, he

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