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As the community readies to enjoy the Fourth of July across the Yampa Valley, the City of Steamboat Springs offers some tips and advice to help celebrate the holiday safely.
“Steamboat’s celebration brings people from near and far especially with the community’s incredible fireworks extravaganza,” said Mel Stewart, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue (SSFR) Chief. “However, it can also bring severe consequences if people are not careful.”
This summer is quite the opposite from last year, when the area experienced high fire danger and low river levels. While the fire rating is currently LOW, remember that fireworks that leave the ground, explode or fragment, and similar more powerful fireworks are illegal in Colorado. In addition, campfires should be in designated areas, never left unattended and extinguished fully. The Yampa River is running swift and strong and looks to remains at higher than normal levels during the holiday. Please be vigilant around the river’s edge and other waterways.
When it gets dark, motorists have a harder time seeing you. Whether you’re traveling by car, bike or on foot, follow the rules of the road so that everyone makes it home safely. In general, bring a flash light or headlamp, wear reflective gear and avoid dark clothing, use caution in crosswalks and do not dart across streets/alleys, eliminate distractions such as earbuds, texting and cellphones while leaving the venue, and assume you can’t be seen by others.
In addition, bikers should use front and back lights, don reflective gear and always wear a helmet. If traveling the Core Trail, ride with caution and anticipate heavy use.
With loud noises and large gatherings over the holiday, the shelter receives several stray animals. To help your pet get through the festivities or to quickly be reunited, the Routt County Humane Society suggests the following:
Rafters, kayakers and SUPers, should always wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and practice river safety. Recent Yampa River flows have been approximately 3,000 cfs, 4-5 times higher than the historical average. Commercial tubing operators do not open for business until river levels drop below 700 cfs. Recreational tubers should follow the same guidelines (<700 cfs) and wait until water flows drop before venturing into the river.
According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 73 percent of consumers grill on the Fourth of July. In addition, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics shows July is the peak month for grilling fires. Roughly 9,600 home grill fires were reported per year and all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries.
It’s common to see moose, bear, deer, elk, fox, raptors and other wildlife while around town. Colorado Parks & Wildlife indicated that the most dangerous and potentially harmful encounters occur because people fail to leave the animals alone. Keep your distance and do not approach animals – help keep wildlife wild!
In addition, bears have opened vehicle doors to access food, even the smallest amounts, and can do considerable damage if trapped inside. A good practice is to lock all doors and ensure no food is left in the vehicle.
While Steamboat enjoys a small town vibe, please be alert at all times, use common sense and if you see something that’s not quite right, say something.
The City of Steamboat Springs would like to thank residents and guests for their cooperation and wishes everyone a safe and wonderful Fourth of July celebration. All events associated with the July 4th in Steamboat Springs can be found at www.steamboatchamber.com.
ContactMel Stewart, Fire Chief, 970.879.7170 or email Cory Christensen, Police Chief, 970.879.4344 or emailChuck Cerasoli, Deputy Fire Chief, 970.879.7170 or emailAnnette Dopplick, Police Commander, 970.879.4344 or email