For the first time in two years, Pueblo County says they are allowing fireworks this summer. The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office met with Fire Chief from several stations in Pueblo County, and the Fire Chief in the City of Pueblo to make that decision, Wednesday. They wanted to address fire concerns before the Fourth of July holiday.
Chief Dale Villers with the Pueblo Fire Department said, "The average water per rainfall is close to normal. The last two years, it was way, way below."
Chief Villers said the group looked at several factors, including weather patters, forecasts and fire fuel. He said after reviewing the information, they decided not to place a Stage 1 Fire Restriction in Pueblo County right now. People are still allowed to burn yard debris and light open fire during recreation.
Fireworks are allowed in Pueblo County as long as they are legal. Villers said they are called consumer fireworks.
"Anything that leaves the ground or explodes is illegal. It's against state statute, both county and city," said Villers.
On the Fourth of July, folks can light fireworks in the City of Pueblo between 7am-midnight. Pueblo County doesn't have any restrictions for lighting fireworks.
Villers said, "We want to keep the community safe, so I think that's our number one goal here. So we look at fire conditions... if we can keep the public safe, and they can have a good time then that's a benefit to us."
The fire chiefs plan to revisit this decision next week. They will continue to monitor weather conditions.
Mark Mears with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, said, "If we get a 10 day spell of dry weather, we may possibly change our posture."
Fire Officials offer these tips:
• Adhere to any Red Flag Warnings that are issued.
•Do NOT throw lit cigarettes into the trash or out of a car window. Extinguish them completely with water.
• Make sure that ANY open flame is closely monitored. Do NOT allow it to smolder, extinguish it completely with water and check back on it to make sure it hasn’t reignited, even days later.
• Any yard debris burns must be reported to the Pueblo County Burn line 583-BURN. In addition, residents in Pueblo West, Rural, Rye, and West Park Fire Protection Districts must get a permit prior to burning.
• Anytime you are working with an open flame, welding, recreational fires, barrel burns, etc. have a hose and a cellular phone immediately available in case the flames get away from you.
•Do not use grills of any type when high winds are present.