NewsNortheast Valley News


Are fireworks in the Valley worth the fire danger?

Flagstaff cancels its Fourth of July fireworks
Posted at 9:32 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 01:22:53-04

CAVE CREEK, AZ — A debate is brewing in the Valley over fireworks. Should we be allowed to use them when the risk of wildfires is so high right now?

For 25 years, the sky over Cave Creek sparkled with fireworks. Many residents go to Harold's Cave Creek Corral to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The owner has put on fireworks for the community for as long as many can remember.

“It’s been a tradition for many years in Cave Creek, the fireworks bring thousands and thousands of people up here,” said local business owner, Johnny Ringo.

“We usually have a gathering at our house on the 3rd and then come into town to watch the fireworks, so we’re gonna miss them,” said Cave Creek resident Terre Mollnhauer.

The Town Council, for the second year in a row, has declined to give Harold's the go ahead to use fireworks at their event.

A decision, according to the Mayor, that centered on an invasive plant called a Globe Chamomile, as well as the incredibly lush and dry conditions surrounding the community.

“Well safety is the issue here, we have to think about safety, we don’t want to burn the place down ya know,” said another resident.

And while many see the risks, they’re not sure the town council should be the ones make the decision. “I think it should be on Rural Metro Fire, they’re the experts and they understand what they’re doing,” said Ringo used to be a part of the town's Chamber of Commerce.

ABC15 reached out to Rural Metro fire to find out if they were consulted but haven’t heard back.

Multiple wildfires currently rage around the state. One near 63rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road from last week was started by fireworks.

“It happens so quickly and I don’t think people think it through and they make silly decisions,” said Mike Sprinkle.

While the disappointment around the canceled fireworks remains, most won’t let that spoil the celebration.

“We as a society, America, we’ve made fireworks (about the) Fourth of July, it shouldn’t be defined by it,” said Evelyn Deniz.

Many cities in the Valley are still putting on a fireworks show. You can see a full list of the events here.

Harold's says they will be celebrating too with a hot dog eating contest and much more.