Estes Park’s annual July 4th fireworks display has been officially canceled for 2020 to ensure public health and safety because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These times have come with new challenges that we are facing together. What has not changed is our ongoing commitment to serve you as our community – to respond in your time of need, and to promote ways we can prepare for and prevent fires and injuries from happening. In fact, COVID-19 has presented us with the opportunity to recognize the relevance and importance of preparedness and prevention as individuals, as families and neighborhoods, and ultimately as a part of the global community.
It is with this understanding that we ask residents and guests to make the decision now to keep our community safe this July 4th holiday by committing to not purchase or use fireworks.
Injuries – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), thousands of people are injured every year while using consumer fireworks, and most often these are children and teens. In 2018 alone, approximately 19,500 fires resulted from fireworks, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 wildfires/similar fires. These fires caused five deaths, resulted in 9,100 visits to emergency rooms for injuries, with most injuries to the extremities, and to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than 36% of these injuries.
Wildfire – The July 4th holiday occurs at a time when the Estes Valley and the Rocky Mountain National Park are at an extreme risk from wildfire. The use of consumer fireworks greatly increases the risk of a catastrophic wildfire within our community. Dry fuels such as grass can ignite easily and can become out of control before a response from the Fire District is possible. Emergency response resources are often overloaded during the July 4th holiday as they respond to motor vehicle crashes or other requests for service.
Colorado Law – Some fireworks are always illegal in the state of Colorado, namely those that leave the ground. Permissible fireworks are non-explosive and are not intended to leave the ground and may not contain more than 50 milligrams of explosive composition. Individuals and parents of children may be liable for damages or injuries resulting from the use of fireworks in accordance with the law.
The Estes Valley Fire Protection District urges you to make the safe decision this July 4th and to avoid purchasing fireworks altogether. Let us look forward to getting through these challenging times together and with a unified focus on safety for the benefit of our community. The challenge is not to simply return to normal, rather to be better because of these circumstances. We know that together we can keep our community safe, and we appreciate your support in doing so.