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Most fireworks are illegal in Colorado; nearly all in Colorado Springs

What you need to know ahead of July 4 weekend
The prices on certain items are higher  this year
The prices on certain items are higher this year(KNOE)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:41 AM MDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:05 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - You may see firework stands popping up outside city limits ahead of July 4, but most fireworks are illegal in Colorado.

“People start fires every year with that,” said Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacy. “Anyone that violates that can be prosecuted. ... The police department will be making patrols.”

According to Colorado’s fireworks laws, essentially anything that explodes once leaving the ground is illegal to sell, buy and use. That includes:

  • Firecrackers
  • Rockets (including bottle rockets)
  • Mortars
  • Roman Candles
  • Cherry Bombs
  • Similar items

The below items are legal, according to the state, although all the firefighters we talked to advised against these too:

  • Fountain fireworks
  • Ground spinners
  • Sparklers
  • Poppers and tube devices
  • Items not listed but similar to those above

Firework rules vary between jurisdictions. The city of Pueblo, Pueblo County, and Fremont County adhere to state rules.

The city of Fountain banned personal fireworks this year, while unincorporated El Paso County lifted a fireworks ban.

Colorado Springs has tighter rules, meaning anything that gets lit or ignited is illegal.

“Within the city limits, all fireworks are illegal,” said Lacy. “There are no consumer fireworks allowed, and what we do is allow permitted public displays.”

You may be best off catching one of the professional shows. Punishment for illegal fireworks entails a $2,900 fine and up to 180 days in jail. If a fire is caused by illegal fireworks, one can face criminal arson charges and all the penalties that entails.

Lacy says confusion sparks when people see firework stands off the road.

“There are firework stands allowed in the unincorporated parts of El Paso County, and typically, people will unfortunately go and buy those and bring them into the city limits and go and then shoot them off.”

While those stands may be close to home, the items sold there are still illegal in Colorado Springs and may be in other cities.

If you’re unsure of the fireworks rules in your area, you can call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to ask.

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