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Fireworks for holiday threatened by drought in U.S. west

June 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., June 30 (UPI) -- The use of fireworks for July Fourth celebrations this year could be prohibited due to widespread drought across much of the U.S. West, officials said.

There are fire restrictions in place in dozens of counties in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, meaning residents are prohibited from using personal fireworks, Accuweather.com reported Sunday.

Still, Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, said there should be fewer fire bans in place this year compared to 2012.

"Last year was the worst in three decades," she said of canceled firework shows. "It hurt consumer backyard sales. This year should be better."

Residents in this region are encouraged to check to see if their county has a fire restriction in place on www.firerestrictions.us, Accuweather.com said.

Fireworks displays in parts of the eastern United States may be threatened by torrential downpours in the forecast, the weather website said.

Meanwhile, Heckman said fireworks laws in the United States are loosening as they become safer, MSN News reported.

Fireworks injuries were down 10 percent from 2010 to 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

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