Several Fourth Of July Firework Displays Canceled Due To High Fire Danger
As unprecedented dry, hot weather continues throughout most of the state, some localities have canceled their Fourth of July fireworks.
Gillette, Thermopolis, Teton County, and Keyhole State Park announced there will be no firework celebrations for the holiday.
Thermopolis Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Collins said they decided to cancel because they always follow the surrounding counties and agency's restrictions concerning fire and the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have enacted a stage one fire ban.
"The government resources are fairly low for this time of the year. So putting the fire ban on, it takes any potential away from the possibility of a large fire spread," said Collins.
Teton County has also canceled its two firework displays. Teton County Fire Warden Brady Hanson said the decision wasn't easy but they decided to do it because of drought conditions and because the fireworks launching location is very close to the national forest. He said even the fireworks manufacturer was concerned.
"With all of that together, we were looking at the forecast going forward and decided that we needed to take a very careful, cautious approach and would not have fireworks this year," said Hanson.
The county's fire department will be asking the commissioners for a fire ban county-wide next week. This would be the earliest a fire ban has been put in effect in Teton County. Many towns are also prohibiting personal fireworks within town limits.