Police watching for illegal fireworks | AspenTimes.com

Police watching for illegal fireworks

Aspen’s fireworks are back to dazzle the crowds this year after a year hiatus due to a fire ban, but police are still enforcing statewide rules for private fireworks use.

“The general rule of thumb is if it flies and/or explodes, it’s illegal,” said Glenn Schaffer, Aspen’s deputy police chief. “That’s bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers.”

Last year a countywide ban on open fires preceded the cancellation of Aspen’s fireworks display. Because of a wetter spring this year, the show will go on Friday night on Aspen Mountain.

Aspen police have always enforced Colorado fireworks laws, and this weekend will be no different, Schaffer said.

“As long as [legal fireworks] are used responsibly, there’s no problem,” he said. “But lighting something off in a patch of dry grass isn’t really responsible. We always look out for that, and as long as people are using fireworks that are legal to use, it won’t be an issue.”

Legal fireworks include sparklers, toy smoke devices and cigarette loads, or toy caps that do not contain more than 25 hundredths of a grain of explosive compound per cap. Any emergency-signal device like a highway flare or smoke candle is also legal.

Police have the right to confiscate any illegal fireworks or combustibles offered for sale or used. The misdemeanor offense can result in a $300 fine or jail time.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]

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