With the fire danger still high but perhaps not critically so like last season, Craig residents can celebrate this Independence Day with fireworks of their own, in addition to the annual exhibition hosted by the city.
In 2002, the Craig City Council enacted an emergency ban on all fireworks. That ban has since been lifted, said Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta.
Fireworks are allowed this year as long as they "don't go bang and don't leave the ground," Vanatta said.
The Craig Rural Fire Department will be on "heightened alert" during the city's Fourth of July fireworks display Friday, according to Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Roy Mason.
The fire department plans to staff the event with 20 to 25 firemen. Additionally, the BLM will be on hand for backup.
"If they don't have any major fires, they'll have 2 to 3 engines there to help us," Mason said.
The fire department conducted an extensive pre-burn last year to mitigate the extreme fire danger, but the department has forgone the pre-burn this year.
Mason explained that his crew might decide Friday to burn some of the vegetation surrounding the "finale area."
Otherwise, the fire department "is not doing anything different this year," Mason said.
Fireworks were more difficult to acquire this year. New regulations imposed by the Homeland Security Act required the city to obtain a special license to purchase fireworks, Mason said.
"(Sheriff) Buddy Grinstead was instrumental in going through all the paperwork it took to get the license," said Mason.
The city fireworks display will be at dusk Friday, around 8:45 p.m., Mason said.
Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org