Drought-Parched West Coast States Restrict July 4 Fireworks Displays

AP

Officials in several drought-stricken western states are imposing bans on Independence Day fireworks displays after severe wildfires broke out across Alaska, Washington and Oregon this week.

As Reuters reports, several communities have imposed outright bans on pyrotechnics, and Cupertino, Calif., and Anchorage, Ala., have both canceled their fireworks shows over drought concerns. High temperatures have raised the fire risk in large swaths of the northwest, where blazes destroyed
the central Washington town of Wenatchee this week. Twenty-six large wildfires
were burning across Alaska as of Thursday, and eight burned across Oregon.

Authorities urged fireworks enthusiasts to take precautions and avoid setting off large airborne fireworks that could emit dangerous sparks.

As Sacramento municipal lawmaker Susan Peters put it, residents should only use products that are “safe and sane.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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