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Many Towns Will Forgo Fireworks Celebrations This Year

Photos[dot]com(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- To celebrate Independence Day, there will be quite a fireworks show on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But in many other places, Americans will be denied their Fourth of July celebrations.

The summer has brought unusually dry weather to some parts of the country, creating fears that having fireworks celebrations would just be too dangerous.

"The chances of fires getting started are much greater when it's hot and exceptionally dry out," Accuweather broadcaster Jeannette Calle said.

With wildfires already blazing in Arizona and New Mexico, the bans on fireworks are spreading.

"Across New Mexico, we have seen just how quickly fires can burn through our landscape and impact our communities," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said. "I am asking New Mexicans to follow all state and local fireworks bans and restrictions and pull together to ensure a safe and celebratory Independence Day weekend."

But New Mexico's governor has limited power.

"I ordered no fireworks used on state land," Martinez said. "That is the only authority I have as governor."

Martinez begged residents to forgo fireworks this year, even going as far as declaring a state of emergency regarding the use of fireworks, effective through July 6.

In Texas, where more than 3 million acres have been scorched, nearly every county has banned fireworks. This means that for the first time, 100,000 people in Austin won't see fireworks explode as the Texas Symphony performs, because the show was cancelled.

But one Texas town, Amarillo, has come up with a solution to the problems: Instead of the usual pyrotechnics, the town will have a laser show instead.

"Something new, something different and something safe. And really celebrating a wonderful day," Amarillo National Bank Vice President William Ware said.

It's not just the fire hazard that is causing the lack of fireworks this year. For some cities, economic hardships are putting an end to their patriotic plans.

In Chicago, for example, the city will have its big fireworks show on the Fourth, but the show for the big annual food festival, Taste of Chicago, this weekend, has been cancelled because of budget worries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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