Fire expert: Mount Rushmore fireworks display ill advised

Published: Jun. 13, 2020 at 8:58 PM CDT
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A fire expert says a fireworks display planned at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is “ill advised” given the abnormally dry conditions and risk of summer wildfires.

The July 3 event could attract 7,500 people, possibly including President Donald Trump.

Bill Gabbert is the former fire management officer for Mount Rushmore and six other national parks in the region. He says shooting fireworks over the extremely flammable ponderosa pine forest should not be done.

The fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to celebrate Independence Day has not happened since 2009, when it was ended because of fire danger after a pine beetle infestation.