PHOENIX, (3TV/CBS 5) – Fireworks have always been at the heart of Fourth of July celebrations. But this year it won’t be business as usual when it comes to fireworks displays, as some cities are simply calling it off. Tuesday morning, Peoria and Chandler became the latest cities to cancel their displays.
This comes in the wake of Gov. Ducey's request Monday to limit large groups of people to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
"It was a tough decision. We had spent a lot of time putting in social distancing measures,” said Kim Moyers with the City of Chandler. She said they’ve decided to not to proceed with their drive-in concept at Tumbleweed park.
"It was still encouraging thousands of people to leave their homes and come to the park and watch this event and after Governor Ducey’s request yesterday, we felt like it was the wisest decision,” said Moyers.
The celebration at Steele Indian Park in Phoenix and Tempe Town Lake, the two largest displays, have also been canceled. Other cities confirming canceled shows are Buckeye, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Peoria and Goodyear.
COVID-19 is not the only danger. Fireworks can be dangerous when the weather is so hot and dry. The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire is urging people to not shoot off fireworks at home because the fire danger is extremely high right now. “Please do not light up fireworks this year. We know they’re available to you; you can buy them at the stands. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. We are in a rock and a hard place right now. We don’t need another wildfire, we don’t need another Bush or Big Horn fire across the state,” said Tiffany Davila, Public Affairs Officers, AZ Dept. of Forestry and Fire.
According to Davila, 95 percent of the wildfires this year have been human-caused.
As of Tuesday afternoon, cities still hosting fireworks shows are Apache Junction, Mesa, Scottsdale Westworld and Scottsdale Princess.