State, local bans authorize exemptions to fireworks ban with restrictive conditions
By Bob Berwyn
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SUMMIT COUNTY — The Frisco Town Council tonight will likely make a final decision on whether to hold its popular Independence Day fireworks display, considering this summer’s dangerous wildfire conditions and a statewide ban on fireworks issued by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The council will weigh input from Summit County Sheriff John Minor, who sent the town a strictly worded letter spelling out conditions under which the town could proceed with a display under certain exemptions to the state and county fireworks ban.
The letter also included input from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Parmley, who said that local, regional and statewide fire concerns all are factors in the decision.
Firefighting resources are already stretched thin across the state. Weather conditions on the day of the planned fireworks could be basis to say it’s a no-go, Parmley said, adding that he thinks the town council will make a good decision.
“The sheriff and I are still sorting through some things right now,” Parmley said, adding that the town would take on full responsibility and liability for any firefighting costs resulting from an errant spark or skyrocket.
The governor’s executive order does give county sheriffs the authority to make exceptions to the ban.
“We will grant permissionm under certain circumstances, under the county resolution,” Minor said. “We we will also make it crystal clear … you do so bearing all responsibility and liability.”
Minor said the governor’s ban makes it clear there would be no state resources and no state funds should the county allow an exception. Under the county’s ban, the sheriff also has the authority to require a $5 million policy, which could cover at least part of the county’s cost in a worst-case fire scenario, he concluded.
All other Frisco holiday activities would go on as scheduled, including the popular Main Street parade.