Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Fireworks?

I was watching the morning news the other day when they had a woman on that was very upset over the fact that there would not be so many fireworks displays this year.

Tuesday is Independence Day for the US.  It's customary for most cities to put on at least one Fireworks Display.  But due to the extreme fire conditions in our state, our Governor has issued a state-wide fire ban.  It allows for the cities and sheriff's departments to make their own determination regarding their respective professional displays, but pretty much everything else has been banned.  Many cities (not all) have decided to cancel their displays.

My first thought when watching this interview was "get over your selfishness, pull your head out of your dark place and use this as a teaching moment for those kids around you that are purportedly yours."  Ok, perhaps my first thoughts weren't so polite, but essentially that's what I was thinking.

I truly enjoy the professional fireworks displays and certainly they are a traditional part of this holiday.  But 15 years of living in the desert southwest taught me to let go of that attachment.

Fireworks are dangerous.  Fireworks cause fires.  Yes, the professionals know what they are doing and they work to minimize those risks.  But that in no way means that professional fireworks displays are 100% safe or with 0% risk.

There are so many things you can do with your friends and family to celebrate Independence Day.  You may not even miss the fireworks.  Here are some that we've been considering...
  • Go to the Farmer's Market and pick up some fresh produce and baked goods to take on a picnic.
  • Watch a local Independence Day Parade and attend the festivities - Fort Collins, BoulderEstes Park, Denver and the Greeley Stampede Parade
  • Speaking of that, go to the Greeley Stampede.  What's more American than a Rodeo?
  • Car races at Bandemere Speedway
  • Volunteer some time to help out the evacuees and fire fighters
  • Rent a boat on one of our many lakes or reservoirs
  • Go to the water park or pool to cool off
  • Take some time to read thru The Independent Stitch - Deb has 8 very detailed and well researched posts about the High Park Fire, including information regarding friends of hers who were evacuated and now faced with rebuilding.
  • And if none of these ideas sound good, check out Heidi Town.  She's always in the know with what's going on in our state.
There are a large number of active wildfires in Colorado.  Three of them are very close to large, Front Range, metropolitan areas... High Park/Fort Collins (near us and 100% contained as of yesterday), Waldo Canyon/Colorado Springs (45% contained) and Flagstaff/Boulder (90% contained).

The Fire Fighters have been making tremendous progress in containing these fires.  But it's important to note that Contained does not mean Controlled.  Controlled means the fire is out.  Contained means the fire is still burning but unlikely to spread.

A quick look at and you will see all of the known wild fires in the US that are on Forrest Service Land.  This is not all of the fires going on... only the ones that are on Forrest Service Land.  There are now so many, that I have to filter for Colorado.

Which brings me to the point of this post...  Why would anyone be so selfish as to to complain about not having a 45-minute fireworks display when so many people are risking their lives to protect the land, people and property?  These people are our neighbors.  They deserve our compassion.


Voie de Vie said...

What's "very upset?" While I can completely understand someone voicing their sadness at not having them (hey, fireworks on the 4th are really nice!), getting *very upset* seems a little over the top. :)

I am glad that the fires are mostly contained. Will your farmer's markets be open on Wednesday? I haven't checked the schedule for ours here, but that's definitely a great way to celebrate the 4th. And then make a festive dessert with the ingredients (cause if I lived in your neck of the woods, I might rule out a bbq :) ).

Kathryn Ray said...

As a matter of fact, the Farmer's Market will be open. I asked and they responded. :-)

Certainly the story was edited, but she was significantly more upset then just bummed out. She was whiny and literally complaining that she now had absolutely nothing she could do to celebrate Independence Day.

Sometimes I wonder how the news finds some of the people they interview.

Kathryn Ray said...

Oh and yes, you're right... no BBQ'ing going on here right now.

oak haven alpacas said...

I totally agree with you. There are people who have lost their homes, and lives.

I fear with our lack of rain that we should be limiting fire works here, but I haven't heard much warnings about it.

Anonymous said...

Im with you Kathryn. Australia has the same fire issues in the dry season and as you say - there are plenty of other ways to celebrate anything without fire works! Maybe the money that was going to be used for fire works could bedonated to charity or put towards something else in the community... - Kara xx