Our View: Ensuring a happy and safe 4th
July 3, 2013
Fourth of July Fireworks show
City has acted responsibly in moving forward with show; residents can do their part to ensure safety.
Barring a dramatic change in conditions, the city of Steamboat Springs will go forward with its Fourth of July fireworks show.
Just as we supported the city's decision to cancel the show last year, we find ourselves supporting the city's efforts to go on with the show this year. We know, given the extremely dry conditions and the lack of measurable rainfall in the past month, that this was not a decision made lightly. But it is right for the city to put the show on if officials think it can be done safely. Fire Chief Mel Stewart thinks that it can. We trust Stewart's judgment.
The city will take extra steps to ensure fire safety, most notably having 22 of 24 firefighters on duty for the show. That's appropriate.
In reality, we are less concerned about the city's fireworks show than we are about private individuals setting off illegal fireworks in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. In recent memory, it is the private use of fireworks that has been to blame for incidents during the Independence Day holiday. If residents want to help ensure a safe holiday, they will refrain from lighting their own fireworks and help police others, as well.
Secondarily, residents are urged to take heed of the Stage 1 fire restrictions put in place Tuesday in Routt County and already in place on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management property. Stage 1 restrictions prohibit agricultural burns, burning trash and any campfires that are not in designated campgrounds or recreational sites.
Steamboat showed last year you don't have to have a fireworks show to enjoy the July 4 holiday. Still, Steamboat's show is among the biggest in the state and is a tradition well worth carrying on if safety can be addressed. We think the city has acted responsibly in preparing for this year's show, and we urge residents to do their part to ensure a safe and happy holiday.