Firework use banned in unincorporated Garfield County

Supplemental resolution could prohibit all pyrotechnics use from June 1-July 5

May 19, 2020

An ordinance prohibiting the use of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County has been adopted to help protect public safety during the approaching wildfire season. The request, which was proposed by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s emergency manager, is considered “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public’s health, safety and welfare.”

The ordinance is in place for all of 2020, apart from June 1 through July 5, which is exempted per state law, and for no longer than one year from the date it’s enacted. This ordinance covers the banned use of fireworks, not the sale. The county commissioners can repeal the ordinance at any time before year’s end if favorable conditions exist and fire danger is abated, such as during the wintertime.

If dangerous weather conditions are present in June and over the July Fourth holiday, the sheriff’s office will bring forth a supplemental resolution banning the use of all fireworks, including those sold in the state legally, from May 31 through July 5.

Hot, dry and windy conditions create a high fire danger in Garfield County. The county considered resource allocation and potential stress on emergency services during the COVID-19 disruption as a major factor in the prohibition.

“Personally, I’m a big supporter of the Fourth of July,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. “But this will make it easier for us to do our job to protect the people if dangerous wildfire conditions are present.”

The Board of County Commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously, 3-0. The restriction, which is now in effect, means anyone in violation could face a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense.