Fourth fires and fizzles |

Fourth fires and fizzles

Agencies easily handle calls on Fourth of July

Joshua Roberts

— Local law enforcement agencies and the fire department reported a mixed bag of happenings – and non-happenings – on Wednesday, the Fourth of July holiday.

The common theme, however, for all agencies was no serious injuries were reported.

Craig Police Department officers patrolling on the Fourth of July saw more fireworks than they care to remember. And they weren’t the legal kind, either.

“It was a really busy night,” Police Chief Walt Vanatta said, of his department responding to numerous reports Wednesday of illegal fireworks. “It was fireworks followed by fireworks followed by fireworks followed by dogs barking. : The guys felt like they were going door-to-door.

“Other than that, it wasn’t busy,” the police chief quipped.

The Police Department staffed the holiday with extra officers, primarily for security at Moffat County High School, site of a free, public fireworks display handled by Craig Fire/Rescue.

Vanatta said there were no serious calls on the Fourth, merely numerous reports of illegal fireworks and noise and animal complaints. He said the department primarily gave residents who were shooting illegal fireworks a warning.

“If they were persistent, they may have gotten a ticket,” he said.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said his office staffed the holiday like any other. And that’s exactly how the day came off for Sheriff’s Office deputies – like any other.

“When I talked to the guys, we didn’t have anything abnormal,” Jantz said.

Chris Nichols, Craig Fire/Rescue chief, said his department responded to two calls related to fireworks on the Fourth, which is less than past years.

Two of the calls were for wildland fires. Another call, which came at about 1 a.m. Thursday, was to protect a house and barn, which were threatened by fireworks.

“It was actually a little bit down, but nothing significant,” Nichols said. “We didn’t have anything that was unexpected.”

One of the wildland fire calls came during the department’s fireworks show after dark Wednesday.

The Fire Department had all staff on duty during the fireworks display.

With a Sheriff’s Office unit and three Bureau of Land Management engines on standby at the high school, the department was able to answer the call, Nichols said.

“We were well prepared,” he said.

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