Friday fireworks off in burning Shasta County

The city of Redding is postponing its fireworks show and festival because of fire danger, air quality and potential effects on already busy firefighting crews.

Redding’s show was scheduled for Friday night (July 4) as part of the annual daylong Freedom Festival celebration at the Convention Center featuring various activities and entertainment.

The decision comes after a statement issued by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday urging fire-affected California counties to assess their resources and the weather in making decisions on whether to hold fireworks shows. He noted the “hundreds of fires" throughout the state that are stretching manpower and resources to the maximum.

Redding City Manager Kurt Starman said extremely dry conditions, coupled with the lack of sufficient fire crews and engines to monitor grounds below the fireworks show, led to the decision to postpone. Available city firefighters are busy manning city stations or helping in other jurisdictions during this extreme spate of fires that started June 21.

Poor air quality caused by smoke from numerous area fires also was a factor. The event draws thousands of onlookers outside, many of whom stake out spots on the Convention Center lawn the entire day.

The city plans to reschedule the show when conditions are more favorable.

The city of Anderson also has postponed its fireworks celebration.

~ From press releases.

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