Originally Published: June 3, 2018 6:05 a.m.
The front page of our June 1, 2018 edition of The Daily Courier — and the dCourier.com website — we carried news of officials putting into effect a partial closure of the Prescott National Forest.
It began that day, June 1.
We were happy to hear that, and applaud their logic to close as much of the forest as possible, while challenges remain in areas that are too accessible. Those are the parts of the forest that are nearly impossible to close, officials said.
That is why this past week, when we urged the closure of the forest in an editorial — because of the continuing drought conditions — we emphasized that preventing fires is everyone’s responsibility.
Know the rules, and if you’re uncertain — find out before you take that trip, light your grill or fire up that piece of equipment.
Yet, in that same edition of the Courier, June 1, we reported on the City of Prescott’s plans for the Fourth of July fireworks show.
That is ironic, as well as contrarian. It is difficult to imagine fireworks at all in these conditions.
Understand, however, “We are in Stage II fire restrictions, which was the case last year. That said, it’s a little premature for us to make a determination, as much can change in a month when it comes to the weather,” Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light stated.
Yes, we are one month until the celebration and fireworks, plus the Prescott area has seen monsoons begin as early as June 15 and as late as July 25.
So, unless it rains — and we mean “a lot” and soon — the city should save the money and send a clear safety message.
Taking the fire out of fireworks would be smart. The city seems safe from fire(works) going wrong, but we should not tempt fate when it comes to the lives and property of area residents, visitors, and our “crowned jewel” of a downtown.
We will watch the skies and forecasts with you, hoping and praying for rain. In the meantime, the city should start exploring alternatives to a fireworks show, such as a light show with music.
We truly can celebrate without bombs bursting in air and save the money intended for the show for a greater need. When doing that, consider giving it to the homeless or putting it in the rainy day fund.