US Forest Service suggest alternatives for Fourth of July fireworks

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – This Fourth of July, state forestry officials are asking you to swap fireworks for something safer like glow sticks, or noisemakers. 

But, another suggestion is causing what forestry officials say is a silly debate – silly string. 

“The idea was that, you know, using silly string in your backyard, or in your driveway, or even down in that cul-de-sac at the end of the road, you know, that kind of stuff is useful,” said George Ducker, a New Mexico Forestry Divison spokesperson. 

Environmentalists on the other hand disagree. Rebecca Sobel with the group WildEarth Guardians responded to the suggestion saying: 

“We have to be more vigilant about chemicals in everyday things… maybe the forestery service should have known better.” 

Ducker says that recommendation has some strings attached. 

“Save the silly string for your house, your driveway, your backyard. Don’t take it out in the woods. It’s a big mess, and it’s not great for the forest,” he said. 

Fire personnel are usually busy and stretched thin during Fourth of July week. That’s why state forestry officials urge you to do your part in preventing human-caused fires when visiting our forests by: limiting campfires, barbecues, and definitely fireworks.

“They pose dangers to people to individuals, not just to the forest. So you got to be safe when you’re using them,” said Ducker. 

Even when using a can of silly string:

“We never had any intention of sending folks, an army of folks out into the woods with a string,” said Ducker.