Recent rain saves fireworks
The valley has gotten just enough rainfall in the past week that residents will be able to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July.Upon advice from the valley’s fire chiefs, Sheriff Bob Braudis has decided to grant permits for public fireworks displays Sunday in Aspen, Snowmass Village and Carbondale.The shows will begin in Aspen at 9:15 p.m., in Snowmass Village at 9:30 p.m. and at 9 p.m. in Carbondale. The fireworks will be executed by trained pyrotechnicians, and firefighters will be standing by in case of stray sparks.”Locals and visitors alike look forward to July Fourth celebrations, and it’s unfortunate for all when we have to cancel them,” Braudis said of the severe drought the valley has experienced for the past several years. “I am confident that our professionals will be able to provide an entertaining, yet safely contained display.”Pitkin County fire restrictions are still in place for locals and visitors, however, meaning that all personal fireworks are banned. Fires are prohibited on private property except in gas grills, permanent charcoal grills and wood fires in permanent fire pits. Use of decorative outdoor fireplaces is also banned.Aspen Fire Chief Darryl Grob said the wetter conditions of late could deteriorate rapidly.”It takes seasons, not weeks, to rebuild the moisture in large diameter fuels,” he said.Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach added, “Two or three days of sun and wind will take us right back to where we were.”As part of the fire ban, fires are prohibited on public lands except in metal-grate fire pits in developed campgrounds. Smoking is not allowed except within an enclosed vehicle or building, and cigarette butts should never be thrown out of car windows.Welding and the use of torches with an open flame are prohibited, as is utilization of a chain saw without a spark-arresting device.
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