Garfield County Prepares to Ban Personal Fireworks

GLENWOOD SPRINGS—The use of personal fireworks will soon be prohibited for the year in unincorporated Garfield County. The Board of County Commissioners gave the initial approval to the ordinance on the recommendation of Sheriff Lou Vallario and Emergency Services Manager Chris Bornholdt.  Vallario says normally, preparations are made for wildfires during the late spring and early summer leading up to the Fourth of July. He says the COVID-19 pandemic has added a whole new level of concern with regard to personnel. “Our fire services and EMS services are concerned that they will be stretched responding to those issues,” Vallario said.  He says if a wildfire was caused by fireworks or anything else, additional crews would be called in from other regions to assist, thereby bringing people closer together and increasing exposure to the virus. Vallario says social distancing would, “go out the window.”  The ban does not apply to private vendors selling fireworks in the county nor does it prevent cities and towns from putting on their own professional displays. The ordinance has to be published for 10 days prior to the commissioner’s next meeting, so final a final vote to make it official will take place Monday, May 18th.