A small brush fire caused by sparks from fireworks delayed, but didn’t stop, the Mancos Fourth of July show on Tuesday.
About 300 people attended the show, which was put on by members of the Mancos Fire Protection District at Boyle Park.
While some of the fireworks were launched from the field in the park, most were launched from a field near the school district bus park about a block away. Grass at that location caught fire near the end of the hourlong show, causing about a 15-minute delay while firefighters put it out. No injuries or property damage were reported.
Vicki Aspromonte, one of the volunteers organizing the show, said the launch site near the bus park is on a hill, so it isn’t uncommon for sparks from fireworks to blow onto the grass in front of it. She said several firefighters were standing by for just such an occasion.
“It was just a small, little area in front of where they were setting them off,” Aspromonte said. “They have a crew that that’s all they do, is run down and put (the fires) out real quick so they can start again.”
Because of the fire ban that affects all of Montezuma County, no one but the fire crew was allowed to set off fireworks on Tuesday. One group of spectators lit a Roman candle before the official show began, prompting organizers Kaylee and Morgan Rose to address them over the loudspeaker, but Kaylee Rose said she hadn’t seen any other illicit fireworks that day.
“I think most people are pretty aware – I mean, that fire in Durango was pretty bad,” she said. The Lightner Creek Fire has burned more than 400 acres near Durango.
“I think people know we’re under a fire ban,” she said.
After the fire was extinguished, Tuesday’s show continued as normal, ending with a finale of bright fountain fireworks set off from Boyle Park. A soundtrack of patriotic country songs accompanied huge explosions in the sky – and a few that appeared almost to brush the tree tops. The Mancos Lions Club sold popcorn in the park, and many spectators brought glow sticks to light up the ground. Applause and cheers greeted almost every firework, but especially the finale.
Organizers held several fundraising events in the days leading up to the Fourth of July, and Kaylee Rose said they ended up with $11,000 in donations, $3,000 more than their goal.
“That will make next year a lot easier,” she said.
The Cortez fireworks show on Tuesday night also was delayed because of a small fire, started when a shell exploded in its launch tube.