Fireworks displays still iffy in some parts
The Grand Junction Independence Day fireworks show can go on this year, but others might not.
Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey is weighing whether it’s simply too dry, especially in places such as Collbran, Gateway and Mesa, to allow even professional fireworks displays.
And some city officials remain undecided whether even to move forward with applications to the Sheriff’s Department for the shows.
In addition to his law enforcement duties, Hilkey’s job includes controlling fires in the county and he signs off on permits for the events.
Among the issues Hilkey said he needed to consider is the cost of a fire related to a fireworks show.
If a fire on public land such as that administered by the Bureau of Land Management were to be traced to a fireworks show he approved, federal government would bill firefighting costs to the county, Hilkey said.
He also has to take into account that many crews that normally would be in the Grand Valley are out battling blazes elsewhere in the state, Hilkey said.
Fruita, which has a traditional July 3 fireworks display, had yet to decide whether to file for a permit, City Manager Clint Kinney said Monday.
Officials were gathering information, Kinney said.
“We’ll give the public plenty of notice one way or the other,” Kinney said.
Collbran had submitted its application Monday, an official there said.
Hilkey said he was awaiting more information for an application by Bookcliff Country Club for its July 3 fireworks display.
The easy call was the Grand Junction display, in an urban area with plenty of support, watered lawns and minimal threat of a fire getting out of control, Hilkey said.
The Grand Junction Fireworks Spectacular is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. or when the Grand Junction Rockies game ends on July 4 at Suplizio Field.