Despite the drastic increase in precipitation from the previous year, town fire officials are still urging the public to be cautious with fireworks in Taos this …
Despite the drastic increase in precipitation from the previous year, town fire officials are still urging the public to be cautious with fireworks in Taos this year.
The Fourth of July is always a time for celebration, especially in years where rain and snow have been sufficient enough to move Taos out of severe drought classification. Taos Fire Marshal Erik Oiesen-Vreeke is hoping that members of the community will remain safe and conscious of fire dangers this year even with fire danger levels lower than in 2018.
"Please be careful," Oiesen-Vreeke said. "It was an excellent winter, with a large runoff. Due to that, the grasses and brush have grown tall and thick but are now beginning to dry out. There has been a recent uptick in brush fires, so we ask everyone to be mindful."
A recent wildfire along the side of State Road 68 near the turnoff to The Stakeout restaurant is a sign of how the landscape can rapidly dry out and become a fire risk.
There are currently no restrictions on fireworks in the town of Taos, but fire officials still warn of the dangers of even simple fireworks like sparklers. According to Oiesen-Vreeke, sparklers can burn at over 2,000 degrees which could easily set items on fire.
Fines and restrictions in 2018 were seen as unfair by some in the community as the town still held their annual fireworks display near Civic Plaza Drive. Town officials said the displays are best left up to the experts in dry years and are also encouraging the public to witness the free town-provided display this year on Thursday (July 4) following the War concert at Kit Carson Park.
"Grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show," said Oiesen-Vreeke.
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