Absent wildfires, torrential rains or other acts of God, the City of Lone Tree will have fireworks on the Fourth of July.
The city council agreed during its May 7 meeting to move forward with the annual show, in large part because of the precipitation that’s fallen since the group’s April 16 meeting. Then, fearing drought could douse the 2013 fireworks as it did in 2012, Mayor Jim Gunning suggested the city consider substituting the display with a laser light show.
“We’ve had quite a bit of moisture since then,” Gunning said. “I’m sure everyone would prefer fireworks.”
Weekly snowstorms began April 8, together blanketing the Denver area with 20.4 inches of snow that added up to 1.87 inches of precipitation, according to CBS4 News.
The city’s special events coordinator, Lesley Johnson, showed council members a short demo of a laser light show, which she said would cost between $9,000 and $13,500, but council members said they’d prefer the traditional display. This year’s fireworks will cost $12,000.
South Metro Fire battalion chief Doug Bloomquist said given recent precipitation, he’s cautiously optimistic this summer will be less dry than last.
“Right now it does look good,” he said. “The problem is, we’ve been in a drought for two years. Some of your bigger fuels need a couple years to recover.”
Additionally, if dry weather returns, rapidly growing grasses will dry out as well.
“What it means is bigger grass, so bigger fires,” he said.
In 2012, with wildfires raging elsewhere in the state, Lone Tree and most other Colorado communities canceled their fireworks. Lone Tree instead launched them on Labor Day Weekend.
Last year was the fifth in a row that Lone Tree’s fireworks had been either canceled or cut short by dry conditions, grass fires or rainstorms.