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June 24, 2020

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Reminders about the use of fireworks

Boulder County, Colo. - As we approach the 4th of July holiday, we wanted to remind residents and visitors about fireworks safety as well as what fireworks are legal to use and what are not allowed for unincorporated Boulder County.

If fire restrictions are in place, or if a daily weather alert of a Red Flag Day, High Wind Warning, or High Wind Watch is issued by the National Weather Service, no fireworks of any kind are allowed. Boulder County currently has fire restrictions in place for unincorporated Western Boulder County. The fire restrictions include the mountain areas of unincorporated Boulder County as follows:

  • West of CO Highway 93 (CO-93), from its intersection with the southern boundary of Boulder County until, and including, its intersection with CO Highway 119 (CO-119);
  • West of Broadway Avenue in the City of Boulder, from its intersection with CO-119 until, and including, its intersection with US Highway 36 (US-36);
  • West of US-36, from its intersection with Broadway Avenue until its intersection with the northern boundary of Boulder County;
  • West of the western boundary of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space until, and including, US-36; and;
  • All of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space property.

It is Unlawful

  • For anyone to possess or discharge any fireworks, other than permissible fireworks, anywhere in the state
  • For anyone to sell fireworks unless that person is licensed as a retailer, wholesaler or exporter
  • For anyone to knowingly provide or sell any fireworks to anyone under 16
  • For anyone under 16 to purchase any fireworks, including permissible fireworks
  • For anyone under 16 to possess and discharge permissible fireworks, unless that person is under adult supervision

Permissible Fireworks (if no fire restrictions are in place)

Cylindrical or cone fountains, wheels and ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire, dipped sticks and sparklers, toy propellant or toy smoke devices, trick noise makers and snake or glow worms are all permissible when fire restrictions are not in effect.

Illegal Fireworks

Any devices or components that, when used or ignited, project or disburse any metal, glass, or brittle plastic fragments. Cherry bombs, roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, shells and rockets, M-80s and M-100s, and helicopters are all examples of illegal fireworks. A good rule of thumb: anything that explodes or leaves the ground is most likely illegal in Colorado.

A full list of what is allowed and not allowed under Colorado Revised Statute 24-33.5-2001 and 2002 can be found on our website:

Any person who violates the laws pertaining to the sale, possession, and use of fireworks commits a class 3 misdemeanor and faces up to $750 in fines, six months in prison, or both.

If you live within an incorporated city or town, check with them directly about what fireworks are allowed and not allowed.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Adults should always supervise fireworks activities
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose and a fire extinguisher handy in case of fire or other mishap
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
  • Light one item at a time then quickly move back to a safe distance
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
  • After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding to prevent a trash fire

Pet Safety Tips

Our animal control officers receive many reports of lost pets around July 4 due to fireworks. Keep your pets properly confined to avoid escape due to fear of fireworks. Have your pet’s identification up-to-date so that in the event your pet does escape, Animal Control can facilitate a quick return.

Fire Restrictions