Fourth of July celebrations ramp up — as do warnings about illegal fireworks use

DENVER -- It's Independence Eve and the Fourth of July celebrations are only just beginning.

With that comes a warming from the Denver Police and Fire departments that setting off fireworks by individuals is illegal in the city.

A big celebration will be held at Civic Center Park on Monday night with a concert and fireworks. It begins at 8 p.m. and is free to the public.

A host of other public events are planned for Monday as well. Those are the best options because police will be out watching for illegal fireworks.

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Those caught using illegal fireworks face up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

Police say fireworks cause injuries, bother neighbors and start fires.

Last year, from July 3-5, the Denver Fire Department responded to more than 65 fires.

"Don't cross the line, leave it to the professionals," Denver fire Lt. Greg Pixley said. "Don’t put anything at risk for you or your neighbors. We have the opportunity for you to see some tremendous displays.

"When we think about dangers fires can cause and injuries, we want people to have a true understanding not only that it's illegal in the city and county of Denver, but what the inherent risks are to property and to those that are trying to light these fireworks off, and to those around them."

Every year, Denver Health Medical Center said it sees a number of injuries to hands, faces and eyes because of fireworks, mostly to children younger than 14 years old.

Aurora this year is allowing the public some use of fireworks, lifting longtime bans in the city.