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Aspen, Colorado Swapped July 4th Fireworks For Drones To Avoid Harming Wildlife

A city in Colorado is ditching the traditional 4th of July fireworks show due to a fire ban.

If you’ve been anywhere on the West coast this year, then you probably know just how many times the entire side of the country has caught fire. This year has been one of the worst years on record, and while many are hesitant to blame climate change, it’s definitely because of climate change.

To keep the entire state from igniting, a fire ban has been instituted across Colorado that is the most restrictive ban in the state’s history. “There’s a big fire ban in Aspen right now, and other areas of Colorado. We’ve never had a ban this harsh in effect,” said Melissa Wisenbaker, spokesperson for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

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As a result of the ban, Aspen has had to switch out their traditional fireworks show that lights up the night every July 4th. Instead, the Chamber Resort Association has opted for another high-flying and colorful alternative: a drone light show.

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"We had to come up with a highlight for our celebrations so we're doing a drone show. It should be fun, a bit new age," said Wisenbaker. She further revealed that the idea for a drone show came from the recent Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea where a fleet of drones created a series of mid-air images, including a dove, a flying snowboarder, and of course, the Olympic rings.

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The Aspen light show will be performed by Great Lakes Drone Company, which specialize in drones for all sorts of purposes. Fifty drones will be decked out in red, white, and blue to perform a 15-minute air show starting tonight at 9:15 PM local time.

Exact details on what the drones will do haven’t been released, but it seems likely that we’ll see some patriotic symbols hovering like a swarm of angry bees sometime this evening.

Drone light shows may become more common on the West Coast as states attempt to battle wildfires that have ravaged the countryside. "If we are having these increased fire dangers and risks every year, then we would like to have alternatives so people can end the night on a good note," Wisenbaker added.

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