Here’s what to know about fireworks and fire restrictions in the Vail Valley this Fourth of July
Pretty much everything is “looking different” this year, and Fourth of July fireworks are no exception. Many annual spectacles have been canceled this year, and given the fact that Eagle County enters Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on July 2 until further notice, pyrotechnic displays aren’t necessarily on the horizon this year.
However, the town of Vail is still hosting a small show. The typical fireworks display during Vail America Days, Vail’s annual Fourth of July celebration, has been truncated to just 10 minutes, starting at 9:45 p.m. in Vail Village on Saturday, July 4. But with that comes plenty of reminders that we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic.
The town of Vail asks that guests consider alternative options to enjoying the local fireworks, complete with a family-friendly patriotic soundtrack, this year. Those options are:
- Watch from home and be ‘Safer at Home’ and ‘Protect Our Neighbors’ by streaming the event live complete with the patriotic soundtrack from High Five Access Media at https://www.highfivemedia.org/live-five, on local cable TV Channel 5, or listen on 97.7FM KZYR, The Zephyr.
- Watch from your car; utilize the Ford Park parking lot, Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures and Frontage Roads. No parking along I-70.
- Watch from where you are; watch from your hotel, condo or home
- Watch from limited capacity-controlled viewing zones located at Lionshead lawn, Mountain Plaza lawn or base of Golden Peak.
Additionally, Vail Fire & Emergency Services reminds guests and locals that personal firework displays are strictly prohibited. These enforced restrictions also apply to Bureau of Land Management and White River National Forest lands.
“Personal fireworks can generally be defined as any pyrotechnic device that requires an open flame to ignite and that issues a report, leaves the ground or explodes producing sparks or similar visual effect. The use or possession of fireworks may result in a summons that requires a mandatory court appearance,” Vail Fire stated in a press release.
Sparklers can create a hazard, they say, and thus using them is discouraged. Outdoor fires and bonfires are also prohibited except in commercial portable fire appliances that are equipped with spark screens.
Fire restrictions are meant to help prevent wildfires, which can be dangerous and destructive to not only human civilization, but ecosystems as well. Stage 2 fire restrictions are stricter, while Stage 1 allows for personal fire use if they comply with the following circumstances:
- Fires contained in a permanently constructed fire pit, ring or grate on private land, or within a fee-charged public recreational site.
- Smoking within a closed vehicle, building, developed recreation site or in an area that is cleared of combustible materials.
- Fires contained within a liquid or gas fueled device, such as lanterns, stoves or heating devices on public or private land.
- Shooting firearms on private land or at a public shooting range.
- Using internal or external combustion engines with a spark-arresting device.
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.
Things like charcoal grills, chimneys and tiki torches with no shut-off valve are prohibited on undeveloped lands.
For more information on fire restrictions and personal fire use, call Vail Fire at 970-479-2250. For more information on Vail America Days, visit http://www.vailamericadays.com or call 970-477-3522.
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Lindsey Vonn no longer has a home in Vail, but a big piece of her heart will always remain here.