There may be some confusion about whether or not personal fireworks are being allowed in Grand Junction this year and so I'm going to clear it up for you.

We already know there will not be the traditional public fireworks displays in Grand Junction and Fruita this year, and it has nothing to do with fire danger or restrictions. Those cancellations are about issues surrounding large gatherings of people during a global pandemic.

As of June 23, there are no fire restrictions in Mesa County. However, Megan Terlecky, Information and Communication Manager with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, says there is a strong possibility that status will change by July 4. Right now, personal fireworks are allowed in Grand Junction, but Terlecky says it is the responsibility of residents to know what the current restrictions are before you buy and use fireworks.

So what types of fireworks are permissible and which are not?

The Colorado law on personal fireworks was established in 2014 and it hasn't changed. Local communities have the authority to further restrict fireworks use, but,  the following is a list of fireworks that are always illegal in Colorado regardless of any current fire restriction levels.
* Rockets (including bottle rockets)
* Roman Candles
* Cherry Bombs
* Mortars and similar items such as M-80s

Fireworks that are permissible in Grand Junction would include:
* Fountains
* Ground Spinners
* Illuminating Torches
* Dipped sticks and sparklers
* Toy propellants
* Trick noisemakers
* Tube devices

In the words of Dirk Clingman, Community Outreach Specialist for the Grand Junction Fire Department, "if it goes up or blows up, it's illegal."

As everyone knows, it has been an extremely dry spring in western Colorado, and with daily high temperatures beginning to rest consistently in the 90s, the fire danger is on the rise. Penalties for setting fires and reckless conduct resulting in fires is punishable by fines up to $750,000 and up to 12 years in jail. It pays to be cautious.

It's important to know this is a fluid situation that could change at any time. As Megan Terlecky mentioned, it's important for everyone to be alert about current fire restrictions and any fireworks bans that may be enacted and enforced by local authorities. Be on the lookout for updates concerning the fire danger in Mesa County and possible restrictions on personal fireworks.

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