GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) – Due to extreme drought conditions in the area, a restriction on the usage, possession, and sale of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County has been extended from June 20th to July 5th.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) passed an ordinance in April prohibiting the use, ownership, or sale of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County until April 2023, but the dates of May 31 through July 5 are exempt due to a state law requiring counties to demonstrate “competent evidence of high fire danger” to prohibit firework use throughout this time.

Garfield County Emergency Manager Chris Bornholdt informed the commissioners that the Upper Colorado River Basin is suffering from extreme drought and low snowfall. He went on to say that trees in the higher elevations

“These dangerous conditions are expected to last through September,” he told the board. “Even if we get monsoonal moisture, it’s going to stay dry. The snowpack is at zero percent as of today (June 20) in the Upper Colorado River Basin.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts dry and hot weather throughout August, according to Bornholdt. The extension of the firework ban was accepted immediately by the board, 3-0.