Due to current conditions and the fact that Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect, the Pagosa Springs Town Council voted Tuesday evening to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks display.
Town of Pagosa Springs staff, however, made it clear during and after the meeting that other Fourth of July festivities are not affected by the decision.
The decision to cancel the fireworks display immediately followed a discussion about the current fire danger in the area and council’s decision to enter Stage 2 fire restrictions within the Town of Pagosa Springs (see related article for more information).
Trustee Tracy Bunning was the first council member to suggest canceling the fireworks now instead of waiting.
“It’s important I think that we ... make the community really aware of how serious this is,” Bunning said. “And I understand ... the Fourth of July is fireworks and it always has been and it always will be, but if we wait, all we’re doing is leaving it out there.”
Bunning then noted that there was little rain in the long-range forecast, making receiving enough moisture to allow fire restrictions to be reduced in time for the Fourth of July unlikely.
“So, are you saying there’s no reason to delay?” Mayor Don Volger asked.
“That’s what I’m saying,” Bunning responded.
Council member Mat deGraf agreed, saying, “I’m in agreement with Tracy on that one. I would rather just get out in front of it and just say we’re not doing it this year.”
Council member Matt DeGuise mentioned that Pagosa Springs would likely not be the only area community canceling its fireworks this year.
The motion to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks passed unanimously.
Council’s decision, however, leaves the door open to holding the fireworks display later in the year should conditions allow.
“Yeah, if the restrictions are lifted, we would consider rescheduling it,” Volger said.