This Fourth of July several Colorado communities decided to cancel their annual fireworks displays due to the heightened risk for fires. The regions have all been experiencing hot and dry weather, coupled with high winds, are a combination that is conducive for quickly spreading fires. The Public Information Office of the Durango Fire Department stated that the fireworks would pose to great a safety risk. A recent house fire in Durango spread to a wildfire that burned across 400 acres of land. Similarly, the City of Steamboat Springs notified residents that the fireworks display would be cancelled after a wildfire developed just west of the city recently. Aspen had also cancelled their display as they continue to have minimal rainfall.
Greg Pixley, a Denver Fire Department Captain, says he is also focused on the use of fireworks among amateurs. The use of illegal fireworks causes a rise in the number of fires during this time of year. In 2015, Denver’s Fire Department responded to roughly 35 fires on July 4th; however, the number rose to over 60 in 2016. Those who violate the laws regarding fireworks in Denver may be subject to up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. The local authorities are also confiscating illegal fireworks in hopes of preventing fires.
Potential Civil Liability
Despite the penalties in place in Denver, the use of illegal fireworks has continued. Traditionally, holidays usually result in more fires, such as on Thanksgiving when cooking increases. The exact number of fires resulting from fireworks is difficult to confirm. One key concern is when people place smoldering fireworks into trash containers which can begin to grow and spread quickly. The Summit County Sheriff’s Department explained that if someone causes a wildfire, they may be held financially liable for the damages that occur.
The Denver Code defines fireworks as objects used primarily to generate sensations that can be seen or heard when they combust, explode, or detonate; common types include fire crackers, Roman candles, and sparklers. Denver law prohibits the use of fireworks in parks and recreational facilities. At the state level, it is illegal to sell them to those less than 16 years-of-age, with potential penalties including fines and imprisonment. The state assigns the Executive Director of The Department of Public Safety with certification, rules, and enforcement of the laws, with the goal of protecting public safety and preventing property damage.
Denver Attorney for Injury Victims
The Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal assists victims in cases of personal injury stemming from reckless and negligent behavior. Those who are harmed may bring a civil action to pursue economic redress for damages. The cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning that you are not required to pay anything until a financial award from a verdict or settlement is secured for you. Contact the office today at (303) 825-2223.