Fireworks snuffed in Aspen on July Fourth | AspenTimes.com

Fireworks snuffed in Aspen on July Fourth

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Drought conditions and dry fuels on the mountainsides surrounding Aspen have led to the cancellation of the fireworks displays for the Fourth of July as well as for this weekend’s Food & Wine Classic, city officials said Monday.Aspen Fire Marshal Ed Van Walraven said he and city government officials decided they had to cancel the traditional fireworks display for the holiday. “This has been a very bad season. Why push it?” he said.Aspen Fire Chief Willard Clapper said Fire Department officials didn’t think it would be safe to even light off the fireworks display from the golf course. The fireworks are usually set off by firefighters from Aspen Mountain. During dry years, the display is based at the golf course. However, embers and hot materials rain down over a vast area, Clapper said, so they didn’t want to risk starting wildfires.Even if conditions change drastically and it starts raining, it probably cannot offset the extremely dry conditions and make it safe for fireworks, Van Walraven said. Fire bans are in effect throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and the White River National Forest.The city will hold alternative activities on July Fourth, but details aren’t available yet, city spokeswoman Mitzi Rapkin said.The decision was made in early June to cancel the fireworks for the Food & Wine Classic, which is Friday through Sunday.scondon@aspentimes.com

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