ARAPAHOE COUNTRY, Colo. – Tents and makeshift stores selling holidays goods have popped up throughout Colorado in the past few weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, but Coloradans may want to think twice before buying fireworks this summer. Record-breaking temperatures, drought and multiple wildfires throughout the state have prompted Governor John Hickenlooper to issue a statewide ban on the use of fireworks in Colorado.
Some counties, including unincorporated Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties, still allow the sale of fireworks by licensed stands and stores. Julie Falk, a vendor at Davey Jones Fireworks in Arapahoe County, is noticing a significant drop in sales from previous years.
“A typical day we may average from, you know, 50 to 100 customers, and, like, today so far we’ve had two. So, it’s definitely dropped quite a bit.”
Falk says she understands the risk involving fireworks and hopes that people will wait to use them until the ban is lifted. The Open Burning Ban enforced in Arapahoe County carries a $500 fine for the first offense and a maximum fine of $1000 for further offenses.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Bruce Williamson says the Open Burning Ban is enforced with a zero-tolerance perspective.
“Hopefully people will pay attention to what’s going on right now. All you gotta do is smell the air and know that something’s going on and use some common sense.”
Even with the ban, some Coloradans are still planning to light fireworks. Stephen Andrews, a customer at Davey Jones Fireworks, disagrees with the ban and intends to use fireworks on the Fourth of July.
“No, I think there’s really, I think it’s like a $250 fine or something like that. And, you know what the truth is? I think most cops understand, whether they say so or not, and they’re just going to give you a warning anyway.”
Not only is the private use of fireworks banned, but at least nine public fireworks displays have been called off because of extreme fire danger in the state.