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Why a fireworks ban after recent rain in El Paso County?

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 07:21:28-04

EL PASO COUNTY — El Paso County Sheriff, Bill Elder enacted a fireworks ban the first week of June. It happens after multiple days of rain and some are asking why there is a ban with all the recent moisture.

Fire prevention pros are very happy with the recent rain, but they look at many more factors.

The drought monitor is one check point. The map showing conditions recently improved. "You've seen the recent moisture we've had in El Paso County and we're still in the abnormally dry category," said El Paso County Deputy Fire Warden, Kevin Junglen. The improvements have not completely eliminated the issue.

Much of the landscape is looking green from rain. The science of firefighting looks beyond the green, inside grasses, brush and trees to evaluate moisture content. Grasses can hydrate quickly, also dry out in days even hours. Large thick trees lose moisture slowly and take a long time to regain it. "During a long drought it takes a long time for those to get the moisture back in them. 42 days if you continually soak," said Junglen.

The forecast is also important. It is showing warm dry conditions are likely in the weeks ahead.
It is all factored into the decision for a fireworks ban a month before the 4th of July. “Sale, use, and possession of fireworks in unincorporated El Paso County is illegal. Fireworks are never legal in the City of Colorado Springs.

The large community fireworks shows put on by pros will still happen.