Fireworks to light up Craig’s sky Friday night | CraigDailyPress.com

Fireworks to light up Craig’s sky Friday night

Personal firecrackers are not allowed

Jordan Graff/For the Craig Daily Press

Fireworks are a go for Friday's Fourth of July celebration in Craig.

For a time it, seemed like Craig would not have a fireworks display this Fourth of July because of a Craig City Council budget shortfall.

Yet thanks to the generous donations of community members, residents of Craig can look forward to one of the best fireworks shows the community has seen in years.

Each year, Craig City Council and the Moffat County commissioners would split the $8,000 fireworks tab. However, the City Council didn't have the funds this year, and Moffat County couldn't pay the whole bill.

Needing to raise $8,000 in order to keep the yearly tradition alive, the community quickly raised $9,200. Donations came from businesses and individuals in large and small quantities.

Kris Olsen, officer candidate with Craig Fire/Rescue who is planning the show, said they saved the extra money for next year’s show. But this year’s holiday event will be bigger and brighter than the 2013 show.

“This year, we'll have at least double of what we had last year,” he said. “We actually spent the exact same amount as we did last year, (but we’ll have) much more bang for our buck.”

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The public spiritedness and resolve embodied in these donations was hailed by Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid as an example of the community's independent spirit.

"I thought it was great that the community came together in order to put on the show," Kinkaid said. "Instead of waiting for the government or anyone else to take care of it, they just decided to take care of the issue themselves."

Still, while the community eagerly awaits its well-deserved fireworks show, there is a ban on the personal use of certain types of fireworks in Colorado.

“Anything that leaves the ground or explodes is illegal in Colorado," Craig Fire/Rescue Chief KC Hume said.

The ban was put in place in order to mitigate the potential for wildfires throughout the state.

Bureau of Land Management's Fire Public Information Officer Lynn Barclay said Moffat County — especially the western half of the county — is fire prone, making the control of incendiary devices all the more important.

"Any incendiary device, be it cigarettes or fireworks, poses a threat of igniting a fire," Barclay said. "But with fireworks, the potential for danger is even greater because you can't control where or in what the firework will land."

During the summer months, Barclay added, the vegetation becomes increasingly dry, making it more likely that the firework will land in a highly flammable environment.

“Fireworks are prohibited on all state and public lands in Colorado. They present a danger to animals and danger to people,” she said.

That's why the annual fireworks display is handled by Hume and his fellow firefighters.

“We encourage and hope that everyone within Moffat County enjoys the holiday weekend, the celebration of our country’s independence and engage in whatever recreation that may be. But leave the fireworks to the professionals,” Hume said.

Erin Fenner contributed to this report. Contact her at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.