Vail cancels July 4 fireworks
VAIL ” Vail’s Fourth of July fireworks display, which was to take place Tuesday evening at Golden Peak, has been canceled due to high fire danger.
The decision to cancel the fireworks was made today by representatives from the town, the U.S. Forest Service, Vail Resorts and Vail America Days organizers after an assessment of the Golden Peak hillside where the fireworks were to be staged. Similar weather conditions caused the cancellation of Vail’s fireworks displays in 2002 and in 1998.
“We have a risky situation right now and we just don’t feel comfortable moving forward, given the dry conditions,” Vail Fire Chief John Gulick said. “We’ve been holding out for rain and we’re just not getting the amount of moisture that would make a difference.”
While Vail received one-tenth of an inch of rain overnight at the Vail Golf Course and the forecast for today and Tuesday calls for a 30 to 40 percent chance of scattered thundershowers, conditions aren’t likely to improve anytime soon, Gulick said.
“We would need a couple of hours of steady rain to bring conditions to an acceptable level,” he said.
As it stands now, the fire danger for Vail is in the “very high” category as monitored by the U.S. Forest Service.
Those conditions contributed to a small wildland fire which occurred on the Spraddle Creek hillside just north of I-70 near the Main Vail exit last Friday. A lightning strike was the apparent cause of the fire which burned approximately one-fifth of an acre of Forest Service land before the fire was extinguished.
Gulick is urging residents and visitors to be mindful of these dry conditions and to abide by fire restrictions that are effective throughout the High Country.
In addition, Gulick has joined area fire authorities in discouraging the use of illegal fireworks.
Law enforcement agencies throughout Eagle County are implementing a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal fireworks, which include anything that flies into the air or those with a loud bang such as bottle rockets, firecrackers, cherry bombs, Roman candles and M-80s.
“We’ve had problems in the past with illegal fireworks that have ignited fires or caused injuries,” Gulick said.
The festivities for Tuesday’s Vail America Days celebration will go on as scheduled, with the exception of the fireworks. Tuesday’s Vail America Days parade begins at 10 a.m. and will wind its way from Golden Peak to Lionshead.
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