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Aurora lifts ban on public fireworks use

AURORA, Colo. -- This year's Fourth of July will be a little louder and brighter in Aurora after the city lifted its full ban on fireworks.

It will allow people to celebrate the holiday with low-level fireworks such as sparklers and fountains.

City officials believe the move will make it safer for the holiday.

The fireworks that are being allowed don't leave the ground, or have an explosion or bang. Bottle rockets, Roman candles and mortars are still illegal.

The sale of the low-level fireworks is allowed in the city as well. The city has granted permits for 12 sale locations.

The thinking is if people can use fireworks in the open, and not trying to hide from neighbors and police, it will lead to a safer celebration.

"Every Fourth of July, I see neighbors using illegal fireworks," City Councilwoman Francoise Bergan said. "They tried to hide them, maybe in a backyard with tall grass, and it's not a safe environment.

"Now with the lift of the ban, they will be in open. They can use driveways and they will be more careful in their usage."

"They will do it in their front yards, they'll do it in the driveway instead of the grass in the back because it's so dry," said Laurie Bridge with the Aurora Fire Department.

"So if we can bring them to the front, block off their street or driveway, that's going to be the safest place to do fireworks."

The sale and use of fireworks becomes illegal on July 5. Police and fire officials say they will continue enforcement on the ban of the larger, illegal fireworks.

The fine if caught is more than $2,600.