From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 14 - June 28, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Personal fireworks banned in Sublette County
Fire Department set to combust annual display at ‘dark:30’ on July 4
by Janet Montgomery

The summer of 1988 was hot and dry as Yellowstone National Park burned and the Fayette Fire clouded the skies further in Sublette County, but it was a smaller Fourth of July fire at Fremont Lake that sparked the then-Sublette County commissioners into action.

Louis Tomassi, Monte Skinner and Floyd Bousman signed into law the resolution prohibiting the manufacture, possession and sale of fireworks on July 5, 1988.

Now just shy of 20 years of being on the books, the law still stands, and fireworks continue to be banned from within the borders of Sublette County with those in violation of the resolution facing a possible fine of no more than $750.

Fireworks are also prohibited year-round in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which is currently at a “high” level of fire danger.

While private citizens are prohibited from setting off a candle or cake or comet, the Pinedale Fire Department has the go-ahead as the applicant per the 20-year-old resolution allowed to combust the small explosives for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display in Pinedale.

The fire department received twice as much funding from the Town of Pinedale this year as it did last year, with $10,000 in the budget for this holiday’s display.

But Pinedale Fire Chief Alvin Mitchell said he didn’t want to make the show longer.

“I’m trying to get it where it won’t be so much longer, (but) it will just be more action packed and bigger,” he said.

This year’s show will start at its regular “dark:30” time on Independence Day.

“We try to wait until it’s dark enough to see them,” Mitchell said.

During the display on the Fourth of July in Pinedale, Mitchell said he would have fire crews and trucks from Boulder, Daniel and Kendall Valley, as well as an engine from the U.S. Forest Service.

“I try to get every one of my firemen that I can up there,” he said, adding that crews are scattered around to control and extinguish any spot fires that arise from the fireworks display.

The area conditions are “extremely dry” Mitchell said, he warned everyone to refrain from setting off fireworks themselves.

People setting off their own fireworks can cause a fire and bring an end to the show for Pinedale, taking the firemen from observation to action.

“Last year, we actually almost had to put a pause in the middle of it because of fireworks fires that were set off by other people,” Mitchell said.

And if that happened this year, Mitchell said, “Fireworks would have to stop, and we would have to go attend the fire.”

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