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U.S. drought threatens July 4 fireworks

June 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

DENVER, June 30 (UPI) -- Dry weather in the American Midwest could snuff out some July 4 fireworks displays, AccuWeather cautioned Saturday.

At least 40 counties have issued restrictions or outright bans on fireworks over the Independence Day holiday, and forecasters said the latest U.S. Drought Monitor reported extreme to severe drought conditions in five states.

The drought extends from Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois westward to Missouri and Colorado, where wildfires have devastated large swaths of crackling dry forest as well as scores of homes.

Colorado has already banned all fireworks, including the larger displays staged by cities and towns.

AccuWeather said some major citywide displays were still on the schedule in drought states, but fire officials are monitoring conditions and could pull the plug if conditions warrant.

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