Posted: Jun 29, 2011 6:32 PM by John Romero
Updated: Jun 30, 2011 4:08 AM
John Musso has been selling fireworks in Southern Colorado for years. He runs a store in Pueblo County as well as several fireworks tents annually in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and La Junta. But this year his trucks aren't moving out and his warehouse is full. "In Colorado Springs there's a fire ban and of course we have the fire ban here in Pueblo, Colorado." he explains.
Fire restrictions all across the area mean vendors like John can't sell fireworks. The El Paso County Sheriff's office tells us because of the immense fire danger they don't plan on issuing any vendor's permits for the 4th of July holiday. "Severe drought conditions and this type of dry weather are not conducive to any kind of fireworks." explains Sgt. Mike Schaller.
That restriction on giving out permits includes vendors like John who already had permits. "When the restrictions are put in to place, anybody that had a permit has to cease operations and no new permits will be issued." says Schaller.
Business is suffering. John has already spent thousands on inventory and preparation for the 4th of July. As tough as it is for him, his thoughts are with the people he had hired to sell his fireworks who no longer have a job. "We had to tell everybody that we're not functioning this year." he explains, "So consequently there's 100 people out of work."
John says he understands the fire restrictions are necessary, but know the reality of the situation as well. "If we aren't selling in Pueblo, then they're (customers) are going to Wyoming or they're going to New Mexico or they're going to an Indian Reservation." he says, "If you really want fireworks, you're going to get fireworks."