The Vail fireworks will still be firing |

The Vail fireworks will still be firing

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Daily file photo

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – It’s so dry that we’re prohibited from everything except thinking warm thoughts.But in the name of the public’s right to know, we wanted to know if we’ll have fireworks on Independence Day.Yes but not as many as usual.Vail’s fireworks are going no matter what on July 4.Avon’s fireworks are still set to go on July 3, at least for now. The Avon Town Council will talk about it during Tuesday’s meeting. The Avon Nottingham Park celebration will go on, with or without fireworks, town officials said.Glenwood Springs and Copper Mountain both announced Friday morning the cancellation of their July 4 fireworks shows.Downvalley, fireworks scheduled for the Eagle County fairgrounds were canceled Thursday.

Vail’s America Days will feature close-proximity fireworks designed and built by Zambelli fireworks.They’ll be fired from the top of the Vail Village parking structure, and you’ll be able to see everything from almost every view corridor in Vail Village, said Kelli McDonald, Vail’s economic development manager.Tony Landon, with Louisville-based Human Movement, is helping coordinate this year’s Vail America Days.He said it won’t have those huge burning blossoms in the sky, but you’ll be much closer. These fireworks can go off about 30 feet over your head and you’ll be fine, Landon said.”It is the parking structure location that makes these possible,” said Sybill Navas, with Vail’s special events committee. “These are fireworks very specifically designed to be used safely for the type of conditions we are currently experiencing.”

A spring on the Jouflas ranch in Wolcott is lower than anyone can remember, and they’ve been around here the better part of 100 years. Most years, the spring water runs down the hill and into an irrigation ditch, said Jan Marie Jouflas – this year, she said, it’s a trickle and fading fast.The basement of the Wolcott Yacht Club and the Wolcott Inn are about level with the Eagle River across the road. Jouflas keeps a sump pump in the basement to pump the water out. Most years, it runs almost constantly. This year, it hasn’t run at all.Eagle County’s drought intensity is “extreme,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Eagle County isn’t alone, either – Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt and parts of Grand, Jackson, Larimer, Summit, Pitkin and Mesa counties are all in extreme drought, too.The drought is bad and getting worse. More than 20 percent of the state is in extreme drought, according to Drought Monitor data.Drought conditions follow last winter’s record low snowpack, including the driest March on record in Colorado, the warmest March through May on record and windy conditions.Streamflows have been correspondingly low. Eagle County waterways are flowing at about 30 percent of historical averages, and peak runoff was early and hardly noticeable in some streams, said the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.Should drought conditions persist, water available for irrigation and other outdoor uses may become unavailable, the water district has said.For now, outdoor water use is allowed up to three days per week, before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

The whole thing has local firefighters taking everything seriously. A false alarm Thursday north of Avon sent firefighting aircraft out of Grand Junction to respond.The High Park fire, near Fort Collins, made most of its run on the second day, so they’re jumping on everything very quickly, said Dennis Gibbons, of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District.Every fire means almost automatic calls for mutual aid among departments, and that’s true for every department. A three-acre fire near an Eagle mobile-home park recently caused Eagle firefighters to call in help from Gypsum and the Eagle River Fire Protection District. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management crews were on the scene.A 30 mph wind was blowing the flames toward mobile homes.”If we hadn’t gotten in there quickly, it would have spread through those homes,” Gibbons said.Every fire gets everyone’s attention.”We’re trying to be so cautious. It’s so dry,” Gibbons said.The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning – meaning critical fire danger conditions – over the weekend for several Western Slope fire zones, including all of Eagle County.

A heat wave is shattering records from the East Coast to the Rockies, according to Accuweather data. Down at Country Jam west of Grand Junction, afternoon temperatures topped 103 degrees. Denver broke a heat record that has stood since the late 1800s Friday with 102 degrees.Meanwhile, in the Midwest and the East, high humidity made it feel like temperatures were 10 degrees or more higher than they really came up with RealFeel temperatures. It factors heat and humidity to give you a better idea of just how miserable you really are.Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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