The Fourth of July is less than four weeks away. As drought conditions worsen across the western United States, many scientists are calling for the end of fireworks as part of the celebration of the country's independence.

I'm both a patriot and a huge fan of fireworks. The U.S. is the greatest country on Earth, and records exist that show Americans have been celebrating the autonomy, opportunity, and freedom found within our borders dating back to the 1700s in Philadelphia. Fireworks have become a part of our DNA.

Unfortunately, humans have been responsible for more than 90% of wildfires dating back 25 years, and every year during the Fourth of July holiday there is a large spike in deadly and destructive fires. Lakes and reservoirs particularly in the west are drying up to the point that resorts are closing and the skeletal remains of people that drown decades ago are being discovered.

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The current plight of Lake Mead, which supplies water to parts of California, Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, is perhaps the most sobering example of the reality of drought in the west. City-run fireworks celebrations and residential displays have been slowly getting banned in states such as Colorado, Utah, California, and Montana for years, and if the western weather crisis continues to result in arid conditions then it's just a matter of time before fireworks are banned altogether.

Water is becoming a scarcity, and fire departments every Fourth of July waste an awful lot of it putting out blazes started by fireworks.

Badger Fire

Spring Wind Damage

If Idaho Founders had Rants and Raves Pages

Could you imagine if the founders of Idaho had a rants and raves page where they could air their grievances and praise?