Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Fireworks show set to blast off

Beware of restrictions in town


You’re going to want to pull out the lawn chairs and get ready for a spectacular fireworks show on the Fourth of July, presented by the Thermopolis Volunteer Fire Department.

According to John Fish, who has mastered the show each year for the past 25 years said this year is going to be very special.

Funds raised so far for the event total $11,000, about the same as they had last year, but Fish said anyone still wanting to donate to the show may do so by dropping a check in the mailbox at the front of the firehall or dropping it off at the Chamber of Commerce.

The department has been using the same distributor for the last 25 years, Flying Phoenix out of Riverton.

“Jim (Landis) has always been really good to us,” Fish said. “His shells are quality and he makes sure we have the latest pieces every year. He sends us shells that no one has seen before and all kinds of specialty shells.”

Fish puts in countless hours designing a show that wows crowds every year. He not only maps out the shells, but the sequence they’ll be fired, what colors to shoot and the members of the department spend most of the day on July 4th setting everything up for the night in the heat of the day.

As always, the show will begin at dark, so be sure to get to your spot early so as not to miss a minute of the event.

Fireworks rules

Did you know the rules for setting off personal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday vary between the town and county?

Absolutely no fireworks are allowed within the town limits of Thermopolis or East Thermopolis according to officials. There will be a special place set up at the skate park near the base of T Hill for people to set off personal fireworks, however.

Fireworks are allowed in Hot Springs County until 10 p.m. After that time, citations may be written for disturbing the peace. In order to write a citation however, a complaint to law enforcement must be received.

Changes as to whether or not fireworks will be allowed in the county could change as late as July 2 if the County Commissioners enforce a ban at their Tuesday meeting.

If you do accidentally start a fire, please call 9-1-1 immediately. You can remain anonymous when you call, but fire can travel quickly and get out of hand in the blink of an eye.

The Bureau of Land Management does not allow discharging of fireworks on any BLM lands, and fireworks are prohibited at Wyoming state parks except for special displays, such as the fireworks set off from T Hill at Hot Springs State Park for which the superintendent has approved a special use permit.

The cooler temperatures we’ve been experiencing, along with the rain showers has made everything very green and grasses are tall, however, we haven’t had the hot temperatures that dry out the grasses, so chances are, we’ll be able to enjoy the Fourth of July without a ban.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use caution.

It’s always a good idea to have water, either a bucket or a hose, nearby if you’re setting off fireworks. A single spark can have devastating consequences.

Statistics show 46% of injuries from fireworks happen to the hands and fingers, while 17% involve the head, face, eyes and ears. More than 11,000 people are injured each year from fireworks and there is an average of 18,000 fires started by fireworks every year.

There are a few, common sense things that go along with enjoying your personal display, like not standing over the firework as you’re lighting the fuse. Make sure to watch children with fireworks as even something as simple as a sparkler can cause serious injury, buring at 1,200 degrees.

If your pets are easily frightened by fireworks, make the night more comfortable for them by ensuring they have a safe place to hide indoors. Never leave them outside where they can become frightened and run away.

Its a good idea to turn on the radio or the TV to drown out the sound of the fireworks, too.


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