By Dan Shapley
Independence Day fireworks axed because of fire fears
July 4th fireworks? Not this year. Too risky. The historic drought plaguing large portions of the West, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions, communities around the country are calling off Fourth of July fireworks displays. It's just too dry to risk sending sparks flying into tinder-dry fields and forests this 4th of July. The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor
, released June 26, shows that only nine states in the lower 48 are unaffected by drought. An "exceptional" drought is centered on Alabama, and stretches out into Mississippi and Tennessee. Extreme drought conditions are found into Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, abnormally dry conditions persist not only in the Southeast, but through the Mid Atlantic and parts of the Great Lakes. Virtually the entire West is abnormally dry, and an extreme drought plagues Southern California and parts of Arizona and Nevada, according to a story in the June 29 USA Today.