Local businesses keep fireworks off shelves

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— Even though the law doesn’t prohibit it, local businesses are choosing not to sell fireworks this year because of the extreme fire danger. That includes Mary Dike, who has sold fireworks at a stand on family property across from West Lincoln Park for nearly 20 years.

“I didn’t want to contribute to a fire here,” Dike said this week.

Dike typically uses the proceeds from fireworks sales to help pay the tax on her family’s land.

“Financially it’s a killer, but morally it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

Steamboat Spring Fire Rescue Fire Marshal Jay Muhme praised Dike and other businesses that are keeping fireworks off their shelves.

“The city would like to recognize them” Muhme said.

Walmart, City Market and Safeway typically sell fireworks but have chosen not to.

On Friday, employees at Safeway were putting up signs next to bags of charcoal warning customers to exercise caution. Under the active Stage 2 fire restrictions, charcoal grilling is not allowed.

In many parts of the state, owning, selling and purchasing fireworks is not illegal, but there is a statewide ban on setting off fireworks this summer. Local officials say if a firework requires lighting with a flame, it is not allowed under the ban. That includes fireworks like sparklers that generally are thought of as safer then airborne fireworks.

Dike said the last time she chose not to sell fireworks because of fire danger was in 2002. This year, she had to decide whether to sell fireworks by June 17, and she was able to cancel her order.

“As it turned out, it was a positive move,” she said.

Dike said she hopes people hold on to any fireworks they have until the winter, when Steamboat celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.

She said it seems like it is the most innocent of fireworks that end up being the most dangerous.

“Like a sparkler laying in the grass,” Dike said. “Looking outside right now, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to light a firework.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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