Fourth of July fireworks will happen this year in Craig despite BLM fire restrictions |

Fourth of July fireworks will happen this year in Craig despite BLM fire restrictions

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Craig Fire/Rescue casts a Fourth of July fireworks display in 2011 at Moffat County High School.

Fourth of July fireworks are a go this year in Craig, and officials are boasting that the brightly lit celebration will dazzle the community.

Last year, Craig and Moffat County residents missed out on the annual firework display when it was canceled because of a statewide fire ban.

"That was the first time they've never done them," said Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston, adding that this year, the booming firecrackers are pretty much guaranteed to happen. "I don't expect the condition to change between now and next Thursday."

This year, Moffat County and Craig donated roughly $8,000 to put on the show.

Fire personnel from Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Land Management will be on-site to ensure the fireworks are contained and properly controlled, he said.

Despite the excitement surrounding the July 4 firecracker show, the BLM announced Wednesday that Moffat County will enter into Stage 1 fire restrictions starting Tuesday to help prevent human caused wildfires from igniting.

Recommended Stories For You

That means campers only can have lit fires within designated fire rings made by the state at campgrounds. Under the Stage 1 fire restrictions, people are not allowed to build rock fire rings, or any fire rings for that matter.

"It's a bummer," said Christopher Joyner, BLM spokesman, who is going camping with his family this weekend. "That's what we wanted to do is grill out over the fire and have that experience, but we're not going to be able to."

The fines are steep. If anyone is caught burning a campfire outside the designated areas on BLM land, they're subject to a $100,000 fine.

"It's something we take very seriously," Joyner said. "Right now, we need people to be very careful out there."

Shooting personal fireworks on BLM land always is illegal, no matter what time of year. Those caught shooting small firecrackers could be fined $500.

The large fireworks display in Craig is legal, since it will be supervised by fire professionals and because there is not a state fire ban in effect.

Stage 1 fire restrictions on BLM land:

• Campfires can be burned only in designated fire grates in developed campgrounds.

• No fires of any kind are allowed outside developed areas, including charcoal.

• People are not allowed to smoke outside on BLM land. They must smoke in an enclosed vehicle or building.

• The use of explosive materials is prohibited.

• Welding operations with a torch are prohibited.

• Internal combustion engines with out a spark arresting device are prohibited.