Thursday, June 30, 2016

No fire restrictions for July 4th, but fire still a concern

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit together have determined that current conditions do not warrant implementing fire restrictions, but caution citizens to celebrate the Fourth of July responsibly.

With recent hot and dry weather, there is still a concern for human caused fires during the holiday weekend, especially in lower elevations. Right now in Mesa County fine fuels, such as grass, have already dried and cured for the season and could easily catch and spread wildfire quickly.

“We wish everyone a safe Independence Day. Please be responsible and respectful if you choose to use legal fireworks. Be aware reckless behavior coupled with increased fire danger can lead to tragic and criminal consequences,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis. “Be mindful of your surroundings and respectful of others as you enjoy this holiday weekend.”

On July 4th more fires are reported than any other day and fireworks account for more than half of them, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“As we head into the busy holiday weekend remember to exercise caution and common sense when setting off LEGAL fireworks,” said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins.

When using fireworks it is extremely important to stay away from dry grass and wooded areas. Already this fire season we’ve seen about a dozen fires that could have been prevented.

"Spring moisture gave us a lot of seldom seen green around the valley, but that early growth is now dormant, dried and ready to burn. We've already responded to a much higher number of human caused fires that could have been prevented." Chris Joyner, BLM Public Affairs Specialist.


• The use of fireworks on federal land is always ILLEGAL

• No one under the age of 16 can purchase fireworks. Colorado law requires adult supervision for persons under 16 years of age to possess or discharge fireworks.

ILLEGAL Fireworks: Any devices or components that, when used or ignited, project or disburse any metal, glass, or brittle plastic fragments are illegal. Cherry bombs, roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, shells and rockets, M-80s and M-100s, and helicopters are all examples of illegal fireworks.

• A good rule of thumb: anything that explodes or leaves the ground is most likely ILLEGAL in Colorado.

LEGAL fireworks include: Cylindrical or cone fountains, wheels and ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire, dipped sticks and sparklers, toy propellant or toy smoke devices, trick noise makers and snake or glow worms are all permissible.


•Sunday, July 3rd at Dusk at Snooks Bottom in Fruita

The Fruita Parks and Recreation department will be hosting a fireworks display at dusk on Independence Day eve. The fireworks will be lit at Snooks Bottom. Call (970) 858-0360 for more information

• Monday, July 4th after the GJ Rockies Game at Lincoln Park

Game attendees are invited to stay in the stadium to enjoy the fireworks show, and community members are invited to bring their families and watch the display from Lincoln Park.