Fireworks lit with flame of match.

Drought necessitates extension of firework prohibition

High fire danger, low moisture content in fuels, and depleted snowpack support decision

PRESS RELEASE
June 21, 2022

A prohibition on firework use, possession, and sale in unincorporated Garfield County has been extended from June 20 through July 5 due to severe drought conditions in the area.

In April, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted an ordinance prohibiting the use, possession, or sale of any fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County through April 2023, but the dates of May 31 through July 5 are exempt because of a state law that requires counties to show “competent evidence of high fire danger” to prohibit firework use during this time.

Garfield County Emergency Manager Chris Bornholdt told the commissioners that the region is in a severe drought coupled with a depleted snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin. He added that trees in the high country are displaying “record low” moisture content.

“These dangerous conditions are expected to last through September,” he told the board. “Even if we get monsoonal moisture, it’s going to stay dry. The snowpack is at zero percent as of today (June 20) in the Upper Colorado River Basin.”

Bornholdt added that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is projecting hot and dry conditions through August. The board approved the extension of the firework prohibition unanimously, 3-0.

More information on firework restrictions can be found online at garfield-county.com/emergency-management/fireworks/.

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