More cities are choosing drone displays over fireworks to dazzle onlookers without risk.
A number of cities across the U.S. adopted a high-tech alternative to fireworks for Fourth of July celebrations this year: drones. Cities such as Boulder, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT, made the switch in the name of fire safety, CNN reports.
In Salt Lake City, this was the first year without traditional fireworks at Independence Day celebrations. “As temperatures rise and fire danger increases, we must be conscientious of both our air quality and the potential for wildfires,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a press release. “The summer holiday shows are a mainstay for Salt Lakers and we’re excited about adapting to new technology, which will provide a safe alternative for our residents and visitors.”
As the arid Southwest and Western states enter peak fire season, every prevention measure helps protect against catastrophe.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fireworks started 12,264 fires in 2021, although the majority were due to small-scale rather than professional fireworks displays.
Fireworks can also worsen air quality, which has already been abysmal in many U.S. cities in recent weeks due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. According to a 2015 study, July 4th brings an average increase in air pollutants of forty-two percent.
In California, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, and Lake Tahoe held drone light shows in lieu of fireworks this year. This is the second consecutive year that North Lake Tahoe has opted for a drone light show on Independence Day.
Another perk of these futuristic light shows is that drones are far quieter than fireworks, a difference that America’s canines will be sure to appreciate.