Conditions merit caution for fireworks | SierraSun.com

Conditions merit caution for fireworks

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Squaw Valley has canceled its fireworks this year due to fire risk, but shows planned over water are still going forward.

The fireworks show at Squaw was planned for July 3, but due to the Angora Fire in South Lake Tahoe, and fire conditions in the area, has been canceled. Fireworks along Lake Tahoe in Kings Beach, Tahoe City and on the West Shore on July 3, 4, and 5 respectively are still planned, as is the show on Donner Lake in Truckee on July 4.

“Due to the fire in South Lake Tahoe and current fire risk in the region, we’ve decided to cancel fireworks this year,” said Savannah Cowley, spokesperson for Squaw Valley USA. “Squaw Valley Fire told us if there is no wind we could go ahead, but if thousands of people show up and then winds start up and we have to cancel it, it just makes sense to cancel it now.”

Instead, the money budgeted for the fireworks will be donated to the Angora Fire victim relief efforts, Cowley said.

In place of the fireworks, a laser light show is planned at 9:30 p.m. at Squaw Valley, lasting 15 to 30 minutes, she said.

Dave Ruben, battalion chief of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, said that the three shows planned along the lake all launch from the water of Lake Tahoe, minimizing risk of starting a fire.

“We are still having all the fireworks off a barge, so any fallout will not be near land,” Ruben said.

He also said risk is reduced by using professional pyrotechnicians and a controlled set-up on the barge.

The fire district will be closely monitoring conditions, but expects no problems for the three days of pyrotechnics, he said.

Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District General Manager Steve Randall said the Donner Lake fireworks show is also moving forward as planned.

“We aren’t taking special measures this year, because it’s already safe, for a couple of reasons ” one, it’s in a controlled environment, two, it’s done by professionals, and three, it’s shot out over water,” Randall said.

Truckee Fire Chief Bryce Keller said the cooler temperatures and lower winds expected in the evening will also add a measure of safety.