Illegal firework calls up tenfold in Colorado Springs this month
If you think you're hearing more fireworks lately -- you're not imagining things.
The Colorado Springs Police Department says they are getting nearly 10 times the calls regarding illegal fireworks as they did last year.
To put that in perspective: in June 2019, CSPD received 37 calls about fireworks. Fast-forward to 2020, and they've received 345 calls -- with six days still left in the month.
A spokesperson for the National Association of Fireworks hypothesized the dramatic increase could be tied to -- as so many things in 2020 -- the coronavirus pandemic.
"People have been facing quarantine, you know, they're anxious to get out and celebrate, and, you know, a sense of community, you know, to come together, and fireworks is something that allows you to do that," Larry Farnsworth said.
But both local law enforcement agencies say no matter the reason, fireworks are illegal in Colorado Springs.
"Fireworks that leave the ground are not legal here in Colorado Springs and that's important to remember," said Lt. James Sokolik with the Colorado Springs Police Department.
"If you do have a firework, if you're in the use of using that firework, in possession of it in any sort of capacity or trying to sell it or purchasing that firework, you could possibly face up to a $750 fine or imprisonment up to six months," said Deborah Mynatt with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
One big reason citizens should leave the fireworks for the professionals: fire danger.
"Obviously we have had a dry summer and I couldn't tell you exactly where the fire danger is right now but that is always our concern. We are a heavily populated area we don't want buildings caught on fire. We want people to be able to celebrate the Fourth of July safely," Sokolik said.
CSPD is bringing in extra officers on the Fourth to respond to calls. They remind anyone reporting illegal fireworks to call the non-emergency line, 719-444-7000.
For those wanting to enjoy fireworks legally and safely, the city of Colorado Springs has you covered. To adjust for the pandemic, instead of holding the annual Fourth of July Symphony in the Park at Memorial Park, the city is instead holding 10 firework displays across the city. Residents are encouraged to stay home and tune their radios to one of the local radio stations, which will carry a patriotic concert to complement the firework display. Information about the event, including locations and radio stations,