With nearly three-quarters of the United States in drought and wildfires raging in several states in the West, state and local governments are banning Independence Day fireworks displays, the Associated Press reported.
In fire-stricken communities, firefighters are too busy to supervise 4th of July celebrations, and officials everywhere fear that an off-course firework could spark a blaze, the AP reported.
In Colorado, at least nine public fireworks displays have been cancelled, the AP reported. Officials have also banned shows and forbid residents to set off their own sparklers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin.
"Nobody wants to not have fireworks," Chris Magnuson of Albion, Ind., told the AP. His county has banned outdoor burning. "It's just not safe enough."
Even the fireworks industry agrees. In Indiana, state law forbids local governments from banning the use of fireworks between June 29 and July 9, according to the Herald Times. Some 86 of the state’s 92 counties have nevertheless instituted burn bans this year, the Herald Times reported. The Indiana Fireworks Distributors Association told the Herald Times that these bans are illegal but said that its members won’t seek an injunction to overturn them.