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Several U.S. cities are canceling fireworks displays this Fourth of July amidst wildfire danger and supply-chain issues.
While experts say that overseas shipping and labor shortages – worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic – have impacted shows, drought and dangerous fire weather have made traditional fireworks extremely risky.
Arizona's capital has called off three of its major Independence Day, citing supply chain issues, and the city of Flagstaff is replacing its fireworks with a laser show.
Overseas shipping, transportation in the U.S., rising insurance costs and labor shortages have led to the canceled displays, along with demand for fireworks shows at concerts, sports stadiums and the Fourth of July holiday that largely were absent during the first two years of the pandemic, Heckman said.
"The demand is so high that it's almost like a perfect storm," said Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, adding that not having enough crew to work the shows or rental trucks to transport materials has added to the crunch.
On California's central coast and Castle Rock, Colorado, pyrotechnic displays were scrapped over worries about wildfires.
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In the San Joaquin Valley, a show at Lake Don Pedro was also dropped due to drought.